A teenage metal detectorists discovered a hoard of Roman hacksilver in Fife, Scotland. The silver is believed to have been used by Roman soldiers to bribe Picts while passing through Scotland.
Experts state that the hoard dates to late 3rd century AD and is the earliest hacksilver from anywhere beyond the frontiers of the Roman Empire. Hacksilver consists of silver objects hacked into pieces to make raw bullion. As well as being hacked-up by the Romans, the hoard had been shattered by ploughing. The find was made with use of a “low-end” detector after a few months from purchase of the equipment.
On the day of the discovery the young detectorist was at a rally with 103 other metal detectorists. The hoard was found in one of the three fields that they searched through that day. Experts have reconstructed four Roman vessels from more than 300 fragments. They also have examined how they had been cut into packages of bullion. According to the researchers it’s the earliest evidence for a new phase of Roman policy in dealing with troublesome tribes, using bribes of silver bullion in the form of hacked silver vessels.
(after BBC News)