The landscape of Wiltshire is full of indications of the county’s rich history, but perhaps some of the most compelling information about the area’s past comes from the hoards buried beneath its soil. The contents of these hoards vary widely, as do the reasons for their deposition, but all offer new information about the people who used and buried these objects and the times in which they lived. In this new book, Richard Henry, Portable Antiquities Scheme Finds Liaison Officer for Wiltshire, explores ten hoards, grouped into three themes: potential ritual deposits, multiple hoards deposited at the same location, and hoards potentially deposited at times of threat. The hoards chosen and the information they reveal range from the 17 Chiseldon Cauldrons, buried between 400 and 200 BC and thought to represent ritual feasting, to hoards like those from Manton and Bowerchalke, which shed new light on coin-use, trade networks, and changes to the landscape throughout the Iron Age and Roman periods, and others such as the Box Coin Hoard (deposited c.AD 1150, during the Anarchy), which reflect periods of social, political, and economic upheaval.
Hoards from Wiltshire, Richard Henry, Amberley Publishing, £15.99, ISBN 978-1398100749
Review by AB.