What do birds and buried treasure have in common? It seems that bird-watching can lead to uncovering historic treasures. An unnamed British bird-watcher went for a walk in September 2020, pausing at one point to watch some buzzards and magpies in a field. Looking down, he spotted something shiny. He picked it up. It was an obviously very old, hand-hewn coin. The unidentified man ran home and returned with a metal detector. The machine instantly detected a large cache of metal. There, a mere 18 inches below the surface, was a copper vessel full of 1,300 ancient gold coins. The Iron Age Celtic coins have been dated to the First Century and the reign of the warrior queen Boudica, who led her people in revolt against the Roman occupation of Britain. Her forces killed about 70,000 Roman troops and sympathizers before she was defeated. Historians believe the turbulence of her time may have led to increased hoarding.
Researchers believe the coin hoard has potential to reveal new information about Iron Age Britain and Celtic culture.
In Britain, all finds of treasure or hoards have to be reported and the artifacts turned over for examination by experts. If found to be an ancient treasure, the finds are offered for sale to museums. The finder often receives part of the sale profit as a reward.