The 1996 Treasures Act is an Act of Parliament designed to deal with finds of treasure in England, Wales and Northern Ireland; it does not apply in Scotland. It legally obliges finders of objects which constitute a legally defined term of treasure to report their find to their local coroner within fourteen days. In regard to coins, like those discovered in this episode. A hoard is defined as two or more coins, as long as they are at least 300 years old when found. If they contain less than 10% gold or silver there must be at least 10 in the hoard for it to qualify.
Tony: In 55BC when Julius Caesar first arrived in Britain, he reported seeing druids, human sacrifices, unspeakable acts by Britons in honour of their Celtic Gods. A hundred years later, Rome introduced its own religion into Britain with yes, more blood and gore and lots of pomp and theatre. And where did they do all this? In temples of course, not that Time Team's had much luck finding any. That was until we were shown this aerial photograph. Look at these square features; they stick out a bit don't they? Even the most sceptical archaeologists think that these are Romano British temples. So will the gods at last look down favourably upon us for three days in this Hertfordshire field? Surely we can find one this time.
Tony: Why isn't the digger going? You said you'd do the Geophys and then you'd dig on it
John: Yeah, well we've got a slight problem, in that the temples are really clear in the aerial photograph
John: Well they're not quite so clear on the geophysics
Phil: Have you got an explanation for that?
John: Well, I think it might be plough damage
(Tony throws up his hands and walks away)
John: That's my feeling
Tony:(return to the group) Look I know I don't know much about archaeology but I do know about the pathetic human optimism that, that, seduces you both…
Phil: We told you, we made allowance for plough damage, we told you, we told you!
Tony: (mimicking Phil's accent) Oh arh, Tony, there's gonna be a temple 'ere,
Phil: and it might be plough damaged!
Tony: What have you got there?
Helen: Three bits of dating evidence
Guy: Or coins as we commonly call them in English.
Mark: Helen, I hear there has been some excitement over here.
Helen: yes, we've got a lot of bronze coins, As you know if there is more than 10 bronze coins from a single find we need to report them under the 1996 Treasure Act. So what I want to know from you though, do you think they represent a horde? Have they gone into the ground together?
Mark: Let's have a look. We've got two late third century coins, we've got one of the early 320's, the majority are all between 330 and 340, and there's is one that we can't identify yet until it's been conserved and cleaned. In my opinion, that's a deliberate group deposit. It's a horde
Helen: That means presumably it's gone into the ground as an offering, not as a bank to keep safe but as we're at a temple, as an offering?
Mark: Oh I think in this context yes, as a deliberate group offering and it's the kind of thing you expect to find in a temple site, and we've got one.
Tony: Is this as rare as we thought it was when we first saw it?
Phil: Well in my career I've never seen one and of course I've talked the Roman experts around here, they've never seen one either so yes it is genuinely rare; and you were the guy who said we wouldn't find any temples.
Tony: Oh, we'll cut that bit.
International Air Dates:
Australia: 12th May, 2009
2nd & 3rd century copper coins
4th century Constantine coin (c 306 – 315 AD)
2nd century Enamelled brooch
Lead Curse Tablets
1st Century Trajan Silver Coin (98 AD)
The closing credits of this episode contained a scene of Phil Harding walking though and running his hands over a field of wheat, in homage a similar scene in the film Gladiator, set during the 2nd Century AD.