Hallaton Treasures , the largest hoard of British Iron Age coins, was discovered in 2000 near Hallaton in south-east Leicestershire, England, by volunteers from the Hallaton Fieldwork Group. The original find was made by Ken Wallace on November 19, 2000, when he discovered about 130 coins with a metal detector.
Together with local archaeologists, the University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) excavated what turned out to be one of the most important Iron Age excavations and community archaeological projects in the UK.
The treasure trove includes over 5,000 silver and gold coins, a gilded silver Roman ceremonial helmet, jewelry, and other items. Most of the objects date from the Roman conquest of Britain in the first century AD. Of the coins found here 4835 can be attributed to the local tribe Coryeltawy . This find more than doubles the total number of previously recorded Coryeltawy coins. A silver Roman coin from the hoard has been dated by local museums to 211 B.C. and is the oldest Roman coin found in Britain.
However, some archaeologists speculate that it came to Britain before the Roman conquest in 43 A.D. and is evidence of exchange through trade or diplomacy. The site of the hoard turned out to be a globally important ritual site, referring mainly to the generations before and after the Roman conquest. Archaeologists believe the site to be a type of open-air sanctuary, the first of its kind to be discovered in Britain. It was located on a hilltop in the Welland valley and was probably surrounded by a moat and paling.
According to Professor David Mattingly , an archaeologist at the University of Leicester , "This hoard has changed our view of how significant the East Midlands was in that period, and this coin is a good example. It indicates that there was a Roman empire between this region and the Roman Empire, despite the distance between the East Midlands and the parts of Britain where the Romans arrived, such as Colchester and Chichester.
The treasure finds are on display at the Harborough Museum. Hallaton's Roman helmet underwent 9 years of conservation at the British Museum and was on display at the Harborough Museum in 2012.
In January 2011, it was announced that the skeleton of a dog allegedly sacrificed to protect the treasure would be on display at the Harborough Museum.
In 2012, a silver ring with the inscription "TOT" was found at the site where the Hallaton treasure was discovered. It is believed that the inscription refers to the Celtic god Tutatis, a counterpart of the Roman god Mars, which, according to Adam Dobney, an expert on this type of ring, may have been worshipped at Hallaton. Leicestershire County Council purchased the ring for display at the Harborough Museum.