Roman Treasures of Cheshire presents the Cheshire Hoards; the collective name of the two remarkable groups of Roman artefacts, discovered in recent years by local metal detectorists.
The treasure hoards, which were probably buried for safekeeping, give us an extraordinary insight into Roman life:
The Knutsford Hoard found in 2012 by detectorist, Alan Bates includes jewellery items, notably three fine examples of gilt 'trumpet brooches, so named after their open circular ends. These objects were sometimes associated with the Roman army. The Knutsford Hoard also includes two finger rings, made from cast silver with decorative stone settings, possibly used as a letter sealers. They are small enough to belong to a woman or may have been worn on the lower knuckle of a man's hand. More than 100 coins which were issued between 32BC to the late 2nd century AD also feature.
The Malpas Hoard, found in 2014 during a metal detecting rally, was probably buried in the mid-1st century AD, and comprises 35 Iron Age and Roman coins. Intriguingly, the hoard contains a mixture of coins from two areas which is very unusual. Iron Age coins include those marked EISV, usually found in the west around Gloucestershire, as well as those marked VEP CORF, generally from the east, near Lincolnshire and Leicestershire.
Liz Stewart, Curator of Archaeology and the Historic Environment at the Museum of Liverpool
said: These two hoards provide fascinating evidence about the wealth, trade, lifestyles and identities of people in the North West in the early Roman period. Its very special to be able to acquire and display these items for the region and to explore the long history of the area with our visitors.
The Cheshire Hoards were reported to archaeologists through the Portable Antiquities Scheme and declared treasure. They were acquired in partnership between the Museum of Liverpool and Congleton Museum to be preserved and displayed to the public of the North West with a generous grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Ian Doughty, Collections Manager at Congleton Museum said, The hoards tell the story of the early history of the region, and point to links between the Cheshire salt fields and the coastal trading centres in and around Merseyside. Were delighted that with Heritage Lottery Fund support, visitors to our museums can learn more about the regions history.
Sara Hilton, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund, North West said: Its fantastic to see these two important hoards on display to the public for the first time. They reveal so much about the way our ancestors lived and how the community around here developed into what it is today. I hope that everyone takes this opportunity to delve into and get inspired by this history