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Late Iron Age Gold Hoards from the Low Countries and the Caesarian Conquest of Northern Gaul

Late Iron Age Gold Hoards from the Low Countries and the Caesarian Conquest of Northern Gaul

Nico Roymans
Guido Creemers
Simone Scheers
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  • Book Info
    Late Iron Age Gold Hoards from the Low Countries and the Caesarian Conquest of Northern Gaul
    Book Description:

    This volume presents eight new Iron Age gold hoards from the southern Netherlands and Belgium, consisting of gold coinages and in several cases also gold ornaments. The study of these hoards provides a wealth of new information on the archaeological contexts in which they were found, on the dating of many coin types and jewellery, and on the social role of gold in pre-Roman society. All these hoards seem to have been buried in the 50s BC, thus making a direct association with the historical context of Caesar's war campaigns in Northern Gaul very plausible. This makes the volume important for archaeologists as well as numismatists and historians. Amsterdam Archaeological Studies is a series devoted to the study of past human societies from the prehistory up into modern times, primarily based on the study of archaeological remains. The series will include excavation reports of modern fieldwork; studies of categories of material culture; and synthesising studies with broader images of past societies, thereby contributing to the theoretical and methodological debates in archaeology.

    eISBN: 978-90-485-1484-7
    Subjects: History, Anthropology

Table of Contents

  1. Eight gold hoards from the Low Countries. A synthesis
    (pp. 1-46)
    Nico Roymans and Simone Scheers

    This volume publishes eight new gold hoards from the Late Iron Age that have been found in central Belgium (Fraire, Thuin-1,-2,-3, Philippeville, Orp-le-Grand, Heers) and the Southern Netherlands (Amby) (see fig. 1). While brief find reports have been published on the hoards of Heers, Fraire and Thuin-1, the remaining five have not previously appeared in the literature. The study of these eight hoards has yielded a wealth of new information on the archaeological contexts in which they were found, on the dating of the coinages they contain and on the social role of the coins in the societies of the...

  2. The gold hoard of Fraire
    (pp. 47-70)
    Simone Scheers and Guido Creemers

    In early September 1984 the first author (Simone Scheers) received a telephone call from Jean Elsen, director of a Brussels auction house, saying that he had purchased a Celtic gold hoard. He asked me to identify it and to provide a brief description for the auction catalogue; in return, I would be given an opportunity to examine the find in the auction house. According to Elsen, the hoard had been found in the Belgian municipality of Fraire, scattered across just a few square metres in a wood on the slopes of a stream valley. No traces of a container were...

  3. Three gold hoards from Thuin
    (pp. 71-108)
    Simone Scheers, Guido Creemers, Nico Roymans and Luc Van Impe

    Thuin is situated in the Belgian province of Hainaut near the confluence of the river Sambre and its tributary the Biesmelle (fig. 1). The area on the southern bank of the Sambre is characterised by hills with a stony loam topsoil that covers sandstone and schist. Immediately to the south of Thuin are two forested hills, the Bois du Grand Bon Dieu and the Bois de Luiseul, separated by the Biesmelle valley. The former contains a partly ramparted and ditched fortification of theéperon barrétype, which is enclosed on the southern and western sides by the Biesmelle valley and...

  4. A coin hoard with an animal-headed gold bracelet from the vicinity of Philippeville
    (pp. 109-116)
    Nico Roymans and Simone Scheers

    In December 2010 the second author received a message from Mr Jean Elsen, director of an auction house in Brussels, that he had acquired a Celtic gold hoard, which – apart from some 15 gold coins – also included a decorated gold bracelet. As in the case of the hoard from Fraire,¹ here too the context information was minimal and the finder remained anonymous to us. According to Mr Elsen the hoard was found in the vicinity of Philippeville (B), which is in the direct neighbourhood of Fraire and Thuin.² The finder, however, did not want to give information about the exact...

  5. Remains of a disturbed gold hoard at Orp-le-Grand?
    (pp. 117-124)
    Luc Van Impe and Simone Scheers

    Over a five-year period in the 1990s, several Late Iron Age metal objects were discovered by a private individual in a field at the site of a Gallo-Roman villa (?) south of the hamlet of Marilles (municipality of Orp-Jauche) (fig. 1).¹ The finds include a stater ascribed to the Eburones and four fragments of a gold torque, which were scattered over a distance of 70 to 80 m. The site is situated at a height of about 100 m on the Brabant plateau, which is made up of pleistocene loess soils. The site is on the edge of a gently...

  6. The gold hoard of Heers
    (pp. 125-170)
    Simone Scheers and Guido Creemers

    In autumn 1997 some trees were being cleared in an old orchard at Vechmaal-Bornebeemden (municipality of Heers) about 5 km southwest of Tongres (fig. 1), on a terrain that slopes gently toward the northwest. Raf Janssen, the owner of the land, was pulling the trees out together with their roots, leaving behind holes in the ground. While digging, he spotted a glistening gold disc, which later proved to be a gold stater of the Nervii. Over the next few days he collected a dozen new coins in this way. In 1998, more trees were cleared in the eastern, most elevated...

  7. The gold and silver hoard of Maastricht-Amby
    (pp. 171-214)
    Nico Roymans and Wim Dijkman

    In the spring of 2008, in a field in the village of Amby northeast of Maastricht, amateur metal detectorist Paul Curfs made the discovery of a lifetime: a dozen gold and silver Celtic coins from the 1st century BC. A short time later, similar coins were found at the same site by other detectorists. These were reported in exemplary fashion to the municipal archaeological service of Maastricht, which contacted the first author. Given that the coins were discovered just a few dozen metres apart, we suspected at once that this was a hoard that had been disturbed by ploughing. Because...

  8. Analytical investigation of Late Iron Age gold hoards from the Low Countries
    (pp. 215-238)
    Helena Wouters

    This study describes and interprets the results obtained from an analysis of the Late Iron Age gold coinages of the Fraire/Amby horizon with the objective of gaining knowledge about their metal composition. In particular, the coins from the hoards of Amby (Maastricht), Heers, Thuin-1 and Orp-le-Grand will be studied. Their composition will be related to that of a number of coins from other public and private collections, which were also analysed in the context of this study. The final aim of this investigation is to obtain a better understanding of the metal composition of the gold coinages of the Fraire/Amby...