A lot has changed since our last Day of Archaeology entry. Firstly, we’ve moved location! This time last year the coin hoard exhibition and lab were based at Jersey Museum, but to pave way for the new Ice Age exhibition the coin hoard moved up to La Hougue Bie Museum (just kilometres away from where the hoard was found)!
Secondly, we’ve now removed over 51,000 coins Here’s what the hoard looks like now…
Friday 29th was a special day on the hoard! Last week we found patches of textiles in a small section of the hoard. Careful coin removal around this location revealed multiple bracelets and other small scrap pieces of metal and gold, and what we believe is the remains of a textile bag. We took our time carefully removing all of the coins from around the object to enable us to carry out our first block lift! Yesterday morning the time had come. I’m pleased to report that the lift itself went very well! The object is now out of the hoard in one piece and it all went very smoothly. (There’s a short video of the removal on the Jersey Heritage FB page), but here’s a picture of Neil looking excited for the lift!
After this was completed, we went about a normal day on the coin hoard project and began removing the coins one at a time from a different section of the coin mass. Each coin is recorded using a metrology arm, allowing the precise location of each coin to be recorded creating a 3D map. The grid you can see in one of the images below is our backup system (each coin is also given a letter and number reference of its location within the hoard, in case any of the 3d data is lost – this hasn’t happened so far though!).
We also had some of our amazing volunteers in yesterday afternoon helping us to record and identify all of the coins. Below is Richard (one of the men who originally found the hoard), looking excited with the latest gold coin he was identifying, and also Liz who is helping to input all of the coin information into our database. We have around 20 volunteers helping us on the project throughout the week now, and I think the team would agree with me when I say that there is no way we would be this far into the project without them! A massive thank you to each and every one of them for helping to make the Coin Crew and the project what it has become!
Every Friday the team publish a Find Friday post on social media, telling the public about our latest finds and coin hoard adventures. As we filmed the block lift that morning we decided it would be awesome to share that side of the process with the public. A quick video edit later (after waiting 6 hours for the video to render – why are museum internet connections so prehistoric?) it was ready to post!
After all this excitement the team still weren’t finished with their day. La Hougue Bie had been included in Jersey’s contribution to the Festival of Archaeology, which meant our site had extended its opening hours until 7pm to allow members of the public who wouldn’t normally get the opportunity, to have a look around! The car park was full at 5pm, and we are so grateful that people took the time to come and engage with the site and also with our project! (We were having to much fun to take any pictures!)
That concludes our whirlwind day of archaeolo-YAY! But I’ll leave you with this throwback to our last Day of Archaeology post.