Iron Age coin, Campsea Ash

Front and reverse side of Iron Age coin found at Campsea Ash

A plated copper-alloy Iron Age stater, found near Campsea Ashe.

This Iron Age coin was recovered by a local metal detector user earlier this year. It is an uninscribed stater of the ‘North Ferriby’ form. Its obverse contains a wreath, cloak and crescents. Its reverse depicts a six-pointed star, a ‘lunate’ (crescent-shaped) horse and anchor above it.

The coin is of the ‘north-eastern’ type, attributed to the Late Iron Age ‘Corieltavi’ people, whose capital was Leicester. Their coins are mainly distributed around the East Midlands but small numbers have been found in Suffolk. This tells us about their circulation as well as interactions before the Roman conquest.

The coin is also interesting because it is made from copper-alloy, which has been gold-plated to resemble an official gold stater. On archaeological sites with Iron Age coinage, base metal plated coins are common. Debates have centred around the suggestion that they could have been trial pieces or used as a bronze denomination. However, more recent research suggests they were forgeries.

The recovery of this coin may reflect that its user had become aware of the deception and discarded it, though a number are known to have been recovered from ritual sites as offerings.

View the full record on the Portable Antiquities Scheme database

Thank you to the finder for allowing this object to be featured.

This find was recorded by the Suffolk Finds Recording Team, supported by the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

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