The Roman treasure on display at the Yorkshire Museum in the United Kingdom has always fascinated historians. The object was donated to the company by Thomas Cott, an iron merchant who was Knorrsborough's development commissioner in the mid-19th century. However, he never revealed how he found the Roman-era relics. Now, researchers from the University of Newcastle have solved this mystery.
Collection of bronze pieces
- Discovered in 1864, the so-called Knaresborough hoard is a collection of sherds made mainly of bronze.
- In addition to bowls, strainers and oval plates, it includes two pieces never before seen in Britain: a bronze vase handle and a bowl rim resembling the relief of a shell.
- According to the research team, these objects were used to attract guests in a home because of their shiny, bronze texture that resembled gold.
- The findings were published in the journal Antiquarian Journal.
- Information from Galileo Magazine.
How did you get the treasure?
The treasure was discovered in a bog near Farnham, in the Mowbray Valley, three kilometers north of the English town of Knaresborough, the study said. The valley was crossed by two main roads during the Roman period. Near them, there were houses of rich families. Therefore, the treasure may have come from one of these houses.
The reason why items were hidden in a swamp is not yet clear, but some hypotheses point to spiritual issues or a simple desire to remove these pieces from the sight of thieves or to be unable to retrieve them.
An X-ray fluorescence analysis confirmed the composition of the alloys and revealed signs of repair on many of the items, reinforcing the notion that they were made of valuable material.
Thomas Wood's role in finding the treasure was analyzed by researchers. The merchant is believed to have known Frederick Hartley, who was also a member of the Knorrsborough Development Committee, agent and manager of properties near Farnham owned by Sir Charles Slingsby.
In 1864 Slingsby commissioned work to improve the drainage of the swampy area of his land, and it was at this stage that the treasure was discovered. Hartley is said to have kept one piece and left the rest to God, who later donated the bulk of the collection to Yorkshire Museum in 1964. The second part of the collection was handed over 13 years later.
When the hoard was discovered, the team also found evidence of more items. Some of these parts may have been accidentally melted at the God foundry.
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