Roman HackSilver Hoard Found by Teen in Fife

A hoard of Roman Hacksilver was found by David who is now only aged 16 he discovered the significant hoard when he was only 14 years old with his metal detector.

Found in Fife, experts believe the silver to have been used as a bribe by Roman soldiers when going through Scotland.

David the teen who found the hoard in Fife.

Named the “Dairsie hoard” the silver dates to the late 3rd century AD and is the earliest example of hacksilver from anywhere?out of?the Roman Empire.

The hoard can be seen in October in a new exhibition in the National Museum of Scotland.

The teen found the hoard while attending a raleigh with 100 other metal detectorists.

Hacksilver is made up of silver objects which are then hacked into pieces to make bullion.

When asked David said “I found a few pieces of silver and I showed it to a friend who believed it to be Roman after that we found another 200 pieces on the first day”

The hoard unfortunately not only had been hacked up but had been damaged by farmers plough while ploughing the field.

David had no idea of the importance of his find of Roman Hacksilver. When asked he said “I didn’t have a clue how important it was at first, it’s been so exciting to come and see what the National Museum have been able to do, they’ve cleaned it up and examined it to work out what it is”

Hacked Silver Fife Detecting
A fragment of hacked silver from the Fife hoard

Fraser Hunter, the curator at the National Museum of Scotland proclaimed “New archaeological evidence is changing our understand of the frontier politics of the Roman Empire, and silver bullion was a key aspect of this”

“The Romans changed their approach to handle the different emerging problems, with local tribes taking full advantage of Roman “gifts”

“The hacksilver is the earliest example for a new phase of Roman empire policy when dealing with troublesome tribes, they used bribes of silver bullion in the shape of hacked silver vessels.”

“It’s been fantastic to take David Hall, the teen finder, the next steps in translating a find like this from the original find in the field, to the lab and then to public display”

Scotlands early silver , the exhibition will go on show and explain how silver and not gold became the most significant precious metal in Scotland in the first millennium.



Written by Danny Nash

I love metal detecting, history and sharing that with you. Read more of Danny's articles.


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