The Oldest Roman Coin in Britain
This silver denarius coin was found in one of the entranceway hoards at the Hallaton shrine. It is believed to date to 211 BC making it around 250 years old when it was buried by the Corieltavi tribe in the AD 40s or AD 50s. The front of the coin shows the goddess Roma wearing her characteristic helmet whilst the reverse shows the mythical twins, Castor and Pollux, astride horses galloping towards the right.
The type of coin known as a denarius was first struck in Rome in 211 BC, making the Hallaton coin a very early version. The surface of the coin is worn suggesting it was well used before arriving in Britain and being buried at Hallaton. How the Corieltavi tribe came into possession of this coin either before the Roman invasion of AD 43 or very soon after is a mystery. Did it arrive here through trade or diplomacy before the invasion, or was it brought to Britain by an invading soldier? Either way, it is a very rare find at a Late Iron Age site and suggests the Corieltavi tribe had contact with Rome earlier than previously thought.
The coin is on permanent display in the Hallaton Treasure Gallery at Harborough Museum.
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