Rachel Wilkinson

Iron Age metalwork hoards in Britain

Supported by

Arts and Humanities Research Council

My research investigates buried metalwork hoards in Britain using British Museum collections and archaeological reports.

Start Date: October 2014
End Date: September 2017
Theme: Objects, meanings and knowledge, Technologies, materials and innovation
Research discipline: Archaeology
Locations: UK
Staff member: Roger Bland, Julia Farley, Neil Wilkin
Department: Department of Prehistory and Europe
University and department: School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester
University supervisor: Colin Haselgrove and Jeremy Taylor
Profile Academia.edu

Why were these hoards buried?

Study of the objects in the hoards and their location could indicate whether they were offerings to the gods, buried for safety or for other reasons.

What can they tell us about the Iron Age?

They may tell us more about Iron Age people’s relationship with their gods and trade links with other regions or countries.

Were coins buried in the same way as other hoards?

I intend to see whether coins were viewed and treated in the same way as other objects by comparing the distribution of coin hoards and object hoards.


About my research

Surprisingly little metal survives from the Iron Age, and, the objects we do find, look like they were buried instead of abandoned or lost.

Recent studies have begun to suggest that these hoards were not simply buried for safe-keeping but may have had religious or ritual meaning as well. Many are buried at particular locations such as rivers, hills and bogs in ways that suggest they could not have been recovered.


Aims of my research

My research aims to study the location, contents and associated objects such as bone or pottery of buried metal hoards in Britain.

I will look at at sites across Britain and throughout the Iron Age and study the patterns and changes that emerge.