My Roman Finds…

Well I thought with all my UK website and blog followers I would have had more responses to my request for help with my  Roman finds,  but apparently not.  John Howland did take a shot, and sent this email to me….

I’ve made a little progress and have some results. Top coin is unidentifiable, but dates from about 275ad to 375ad.

    • Coin 2. Looks like lead but is not roman. I think it’s a seal and dates from 17C.
    • Coin3. Dates to late Third Century ad. Possibly of Emperor Arcadius ad 383 – 408
    • Coin 4. Dates as above. The reverse shows a roman soldier raising a child which denotes a roman victory in in a major battle/war, or of
      conquering a region. The child represents the region or battle.
    • Coin 5. Will get back to you on this one
    • Coin 6. Emperor Antoninus Pius ad138-161. Roman Imperial coinage and is a dupondi. Unable to date it to the exact year (can be found in SEABY’S Roman coins)

John also wanted to be on record that these are his best guesses since it was not easy to read the inscriptions or mint marks from the photos.  He further stated that he could be more accurate had he been able to measure and weigh them….

These coins were found on my first trip to the UK, and were identified at the time, but I neglected to label them or write down  the opinions of the expert in the field at the time. Thanks John for taking the time to study them…..owe you a drink or two.  I can also now certainly say these coins were indeed before my time….

If any other UK coin authorities are out there and would like to take a shot, have at it and please let me know your thoughts..



In my last update I mentioned this situation, and decided to send off an email expressing my concerns. This was the response I received…..


Thanks for your comments. I truly understand your feelings on the subject and up until this last incident came up I totally agreed with you. In fact my first  suggestion was to let it be “metal detected” by permit only. I have talked to two gentleman who would hunt the park from time to time and I saw no problem with it.  These two fine men would turn ANYTHING that they found in and I have a box of stuff that I am planing a shadow box for now to display at the town hall to prove it.  They like yourself, do it for the shear thrill of the hunt.

There was a battle in Funkstown during the retreat from Gettysburg and 475 men where hurt or wounded in this fight. So the problem came when another person was  hunting the town park and found a civil war musket. That person was telling people about where he found it and would not turn it over to the town who is the rightful  owners of the artifact since it was found on their property and it is part of their history. Then I discovered that another man found a breast plate which had the same  results.

So my friend it was not an arbitrary ban that we made, it was based on the dishonest people that takes a good thing and ruins it for everyone. Believe me if  there where more honest people like your self we would not need half of the rules that we have on the books. I do hope you see our side of this discussion as we  are proud of our history in Funkstown and do not mind sharing it with everyone as we are a very small town. But when you have people that are going out and taking  parts of it and keep it for them selfs, that part we cannot share with anyone and in due time it is lost.

Who is to say this ruling will stand for ever?  The right  group may come in to the town and make a good hard case for hunting this area and agree to turn over their findings to the town and get approval, but until that day comes along there will be no hunting in the town park for now.

Rich Gaver, Town Council Member,


I also wanted to share the following letter, written by Butch Holcombe of American Digger magazine that I think  was well done, and to the point. As of this date he has not received a reply. Mr. Gaver’s email is listed above should you wish to express your concerns.  If  you do please do it in a respectful manner.

“Dear Mr. Gaver,

As publisher of a national magazine involved with metal detecting, I, like many others, are concerned over the ban on metal detecting in your historic city. While  I have heard it stemmed from a relic hunter finding a musket in a city park and not turning it over to the city, I still have several concerns. Here are my feelings:

(1) This is a situation of overkill. Arrest the person who took the item, if it was illegally taken, instead of a blanket ban on detecting. If it was not illegally  taken, then weigh the rarity of such an item being found (99.99% of detector finds are common items of very little monetary value) versus the displeasure of tens of  thousands of hobbyists across the nation. This story has gone viral and will continue to be spread via publications like ours and groups such as the Federation of Metal  Detector and Archaeological Clubs. It may make no difference to the town of Funkstown, but it certainly will not help with tourism. Metal detectorists are history buffs in general, have families,  and go on vacations to such sites, but their general attitude now is that they will not visit-nor spend money- at towns that prove themselves anti metal detecting.

(2) If such a ban stands, what is to become of the artifacts which are deteriorating rapidly? It is a fact that metal artifacts, particularly iron (as a musket is)  deteriorate rapidly in the general soil conditions of North America. If you have any doubts of this, visit an auto junkyard and note the older vehicles rusting away.  The  effects under the ground are magnified. To not allow artifacts to be excavated in a timely manner is to rob society of relics of their past. While archeologists could be  employed to do this, is the city willing to spend tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayer dollars to recover what any relic hunter or metal detectorists would gladly do  for free? Are the taxpayers willing?

There are numerous other concerns, but these are the two that seem to stand above all others. We would hope that you reconsider this position and we can post  something positive in our magazine. We will also likely be talking about this ban on our weekly show, Relic Roundup.

We invite you  to tune in, and would welcome you as a guest or caller…..

We respectfully urge you to reconsider this ban, as the metal detecting hobby is much larger and more organized than many believe. We are a cross section of society,  including voters, businessmen, retirees, and even some powerful and wealthy. We are mainstream taxpaying Americans who communicate closely with those within the hobby,  and as a rule do not visit, promote, or vote for that which threatens our hobby.

Thank you,

Butch Holcombe, Publisher, American Digger Magazine


1 Comment

Filed under Metal Detecting

One response to “My Roman Finds…

  1. What do you mean ‘before my time’. I heard they were in ‘mint condition’ when you dug ’em up!

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