Battle Over Boudicca's Buried Treasure

The hoard find was announced in January:
Iceni coins worth £500,000 found

Now the finders are arguing over it: The battle over Boadicea's gold: Treasure hunters fall out over who deserves £500,000 reward for coins found in field - Daily Mail

Iceni coins are relatively rare, but other examples can be found here; this hoard is unusual because it is large and entirely made up of gold coins.

I'm a little unclear how strong the evidence is for linking the coins to Boudicca rather than the Iceni in general; does her name appear on any of them, for example? She may just be a big 'name' that is being used because so many people have heard of her, but ... The Iceni were located in Norfolk, whilst these coins were found in Suffolk, which would suggest that they are more likely to come from the time of expanded Iceni influence in Britania; ie after the Iceni led by Boudicca revolted against Rome. I would consider it highly improbable for the coins to post-date the AD 61 revolt, for although the tribe of the Iceni continued to exist, they are highly unlikely to have been allowed so much autonomy.


  1. Glad you are back.

  2. As far as I understand it media is simply using a well-known name to sell the story as usual.

    Though I didn't start taking an interest in coins until after I switched from Celts to Classics, I feel rather certain that no coin has ever been uncovered that bears Boudicca's name. If any of these new ones had been found to bear her name, it would've made far bigger headlines.

  3. The original BBC article suggested the coins predated Boudicca, and while it serves to sell the story, it also provides a benchmark for the time. For example, when talking about a coin from 350 BCE in a news article, I might say "a coin that shortly predates Alexander."

    Technically true, laying a time anchor for those unfamiliar, but not specific enough for those who actually study the period.


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