Cunetio Hoard

The Cunetio Hoard, also known as the Mildenhall Hoard,[1] is the largest hoard of Roman coins found in Britain. It was discovered in 1978 at the site of the Roman town of Cunetio, near modern-day Mildenhall, Wiltshire, and consisted of 54,951 low value coins. The coins were contained in a large pot and a lead container.[2] The coins are now in the British Museum[3] and the pot is on display at the Wiltshire Museum in Devizes.


Cunetio developed from a small settlement into an important economic market for the area, which is thought to explain the concentration of coins.[4] Excavation of a nearby well in 1912 uncovered 102 coins, possibly from another hoard.[5] A smaller hoard had been found at this site in 1960.[6]

The 1978 hoard consisted of 54,951 coins weighing over 180 kilograms (390 lb).[7] Most of the coins were low value Radiates,[8] however there were significant numbers of Antoniniani,[9] some of which dated from the reign of Gallienus (253-268).[10] The dates of the coins were between AD 250-275, however the majority are from the independent empire established in Gaul by Postumus in 260.[11][12] Larger hoards of Roman coins have been found at Misrata in Libya[13] and are believed to have been found at Evreux in France (100,000 coins) and Komin, Croatia (300,000 coins); however, at the time of its discovery the Cunetio Hoard was by far the largest in Britain.[2]

The site of the hoard and the wider settlement were surveyed and excavated for the Channel 4 television programme Time Team in 2009.[14]

See also


  1. Nigel Kerton, C4's Time Team dig in at Mildenhall, at, Friday 4 September 2009
  2. Abdy 2002, pp. 32–43
  3. British Museum Collection
  4. Nurse, Keith. "Late Roman Coin Hoards and Wansdyke". Wansdyke Project 21. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  5. "The Archaeology of Wiltshire's Towns An Extensive Urban Survey Cunetio" (PDF). Wiltshire County Archaeology Service. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  6. Moorhead, Sam; Kent, John (2010). "Cunetio (1960) hoard". Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine. 103: 317–19.
  7. "Roman Hungerford". Hungerford Virtual Museum. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  8. Abdy, Richard; Ghey, Eleanor; Hughes, Celine; Lewis, Ian. "Coins Hoards from Roman Britain Volume XII" (PDF). Collection Moneta. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  9. Manders, Erika (2012). Coining Images of Power: Patterns in the Representation of Roman Emperors on Imperial Coinage, A.D. 193-284. BRILL. p. 54. ISBN 9789004224001.
  10. "Gallienus (August AD 253 - March AD 268)". Timeline Originals. Archived from the original on 20 September 2016. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  11. "The Cunetio Treasure". Ancient Numismatic Enterprise. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  12. "Postumus Antoniniani, Cologne mint, Complete List". Gallic Empire. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  13. "Tesoro monetale di Misurata (Libya)" (in Italian). Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche. Retrieved 25 June 2010.
  14. "Museum on Time Team this Sunday!". Wiltshire Museum. Retrieved 3 September 2016.


  • Abdy, Richard Anthony (2002), Romano-British coin hoards, Shire archaeology, No. 82, Princes Risborough: Shire, ISBN 978-0-7478-0532-8.
  • Besly, Edward; Bland, Roger (1983). The Cunetio Treasure: Roman Coinage of the Third Century AD. London: British Museum Publications. ISBN 0-7141-0857-X.

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