The Roman Hoxne Hoard

The Roman Hoxne Hoard

In 1992, British archaeologists discovered the largest cache of silver and gold from the late Roman Empire, which has been named The Roman Hoxne Hoard. The coins date from the 4th and 5th centuries.

Hoxne Hoard

Hoxne Hoard. The largest treasury of silver and gold of the late Roman Empire.

In addition to coins, there was table silver (ie. various dishes, jugs, bowls, cups, and spoons) and 200 pieces of jewelry. Most of them had sadly been chopped or crushed for melting in a crucible. Whoever hid the treasure buried it in a small oak box filled with items of precious metals, sorted mainly by type; some were placed in even smaller wooden boxes within the main box, others wrapped in cloth. (they know there was an oak box, as they found hinges and a lock, discovered later within the excavation). The treasure dates back to 407 AD. e., thanks to the help of minted coins. This coincides with the alleged end of the existence of Britain as a Roman province.

A gilded silver ladle

A gilded silver ladle from the Hoxne Hoard. Discovered in Suffolk, in the east of England in 1992.

The Hoxne Hoard contains a rare gold chain and silver gilded pepper shakers (piperatoria), including the so-called “Empress pepper shaker,” a very rare find.


A detail of the central jewelled gold body chain of the Hoxne Hoard. The central stone is amethyst and surrounded by garnets. The empty settings once probably held pearls which have since decayed.

Empress pepper shaker

Silver gilded pepper shakers (piperatoria), including the so-called “Empress pepper shaker”

The owners and reasons for the burial of the treasure are unknown, but its careful packaging and contents suggest that it may have belonged to a very wealthy family. Given the absence in the treasure of large silver vessels and some of the most common types of jewelry at that time, it is likely that the treasure is only part of the wealth of its owner.

Read: Mikhalkovsky treasure

A gold bangle

A gold bangle of the Hoxne Hoard. The inscription reads VTERE FELIX DOMINA IVLIANE (“Use [this] happily lady Juliane”), which obviously indicates the name of the owner Juliane.

The Khoksensky treasure is also of great archaeological importance since it was discovered by unprofessional archaeologists and that its its elements were largely preserved and not damaged. The find helped to improve the relationship between search teams in terms of influencing the change in English relic hunting law.



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