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Treasure conference features Britain’s leading Archaeologists

Examples of coins uncovered amongst the Hallaton Treasure (copyright Leicestershire County Council).

Treasure conference features Britain’s leading Archaeologists

University of Leicester research on show at conference dedicated to Hallaton site

Some of Britain’s leading Iron Age archaeologists will be meeting at the University of Leicester on Saturday 11th September for the Hallaton Treasure Conference.

Hosted by Leicestershire County Council, this one day event will focus on the nationally significant finds discovered at Hallaton near Market Harborough that are on display at the council’s Harborough Museum. The finds, including over 5000 Celtic and Roman coins, a Roman cavalry parade helmet and thousands of pig bones, were discovered at a shrine of the local Corieltavi tribe dating to the 1st century AD.

The conference will look at the exciting new developments of the past year including groundbreaking scientific research on some of the coins carried out at ISIS, a particle accelerator at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire, similar to the well known Hadron Collider in Switzerland. This work analysed the metal content of the coins and will shed light on their production and usage 2000 years ago.

The Chairman of Leicestershire County Council, Peter Osborne, will make the opening speech at the conference which features some of the most eminent Iron Age archaeologists in the country. The conference will also include:

• A talk by Jennifer Browning from the University of Leicester on animal bones discovered at Hallaton. The remains of over 300 pigs have been analysed by Jennifer and she will be discussing some of the intriguing aspects of their burial including the very young age at which they were slaughtered.

• Prof. Colin Haselgrove from the University of Leicester will be giving a preview of his work at Stanwick, Yorkshire, a site with parallels to the Hallaton site.

• Celtic coin expert, Dr Philip de Jersey, will be making the trip from Guernsey Museum to discuss how the coins found at Hallaton have added to our knowledge of coin production in Leicestershire 2000 years ago.

• Dr Andrew Fitzpatrick from Wessex Archaeology will be speaking on his work on the Chiseldon Cauldrons and how this might shed light of possible feasting at the Hallaton shrine.

Other talks will highlight recent discoveries about Iron Age Leicestershire.

David Sprason, Leicestershire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Communities, said:

“This promises to be a fascinating day, bringing together some of the most cutting edge and interesting research on the Hallaton Treasure and Iron Age archaeology generally.

“The amazing items are on display at Harborough Museum and I would urge everyone to go along and see them.”

Examples of pig bones examined by archaeologist Jennifer Browning (copyright Leicestershire County Council).

There are still a few places available for the conference which is taking place from 10am to 4pm. Tickets for the day cost £15 and include a buffet lunch and refreshments. To book please contact Helen Sharp on 01858 821 087 or email: helen.sharp@leics.gov.uk

For further details about the Treasure Project and Harborough Museum please call: 01858 821085 or visit: www.leics.gov.uk/harboroughmuseum Please also see the following background details:

Background information:

Harborough Museum is operated in partnership by Leicestershire County Council, Harborough District Council and the Market Harborough Historical Society.

The Southeast Leicestershire Treasure is the archive of material produced by several stages of archaeological work undertaken by local community archaeologists and University of Leicester Archaeological Services. The site proved to be an internationally important ritual site dating mostly to the generations before and after the Roman Conquest of Britain in the 1st century AD.

The purpose of the project is purchase, conserve, interpret and promote the Southeast Leicestershire Treasure. The cost of the project is £933,872 which includes purchasing the finds, conserving the finds, displays at Harborough Museum and at Hallaton Museum, two touring exhibitions, web based resources, workshops for schools and community groups, and events for the public.

The project is supported by grants from The Heritage Lottery Fund of £650,600, £100,000 from The Art Fund, the UK’s leading independent art charity, £35,000 from the Museums and Art Galleries Improvements Fund, £35,000 from the MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund, The Headley Trust, Renaissance East Midlands and local contributions from the Friends of Leicester and Leicestershire Museums, the Leicestershire Museums Archaeological Fieldwork Group and the County Council, as well as private individuals. The support of Harborough District Council is also gratefully acknowledged.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) enables communities to celebrate, look after and learn more about our diverse heritage. From our great museums and historic buildings to local parks and beauty spots or recording and celebrating traditions, customs and history, HLF grants open up our nation’s heritage for everyone to enjoy. Since its conception, HLF has supported 26,000 projects allocating over £4 billion across the UK.

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