Roman emperors return to Scottish Borders


romanA hoard of silver coins, minted across the reigns of 11 Roman emperors, has gone on display at the Trimontium Museum in the Scottish Borders.

The hoard of 228 silver denarii coins, now on display at Corn Exchange, Melrose,was found by metal detectorist Joe Middleton in 2011 at Synton, near Ashkirk.

The coins’ designs highlight the emperors’ achievements and families, and date from Emperor Vitellius (69 AD) who reigned for one year only, to Crispina, the long-suffering wife of maverick emperor Commodus (177-192 AD).

“At first glance they looked nothing special – encrusted with dirt, some stuck together and all the coins discoloured and green with oxidation. However, I thought they might include something interesting, so I gathered them all up for safekeeping while I sought further advice,” said Joe.

The coins offer a fascinating insight into coinage produced under 11 of Rome’s emperors and go on display as Trimontium Museum celebrates its Silver Jubilee.

The entire hoard will be available for the public to view there until the end of October.

It then will be exhibited at Halliwell’s House Museum, Selkirk, during the Scott’s Selkirk weekend and later at Tweeddale Museum in Peebles from 1 February to mid March 2014.

The antique silver coins have recently been reviewed by Nick Holmes, Research Associate of the National Museum of Scotland, and expertly cleaned by Will Murray of the Scottish Conservation Studio based at Hopetoun House.

Trimontium Museum is open: Mon-Fri 10.30am – 4.30pm
Saturday 10.30am -1pm and 2 – 4.30pm
Sunday 2 – 4.30pm

Trimontium Trust offers guided walks around the Roman Fort site at Newstead and Leaderfoot Viaduct including new Sunday walks for only £2 running from 30 June to 1 September at 2 – 4.30pm, leaving from the Millennium Milestone marker at Newstead Village, just off the Melrose by-pass.

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