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21.07.2021

Group of coins and other objects

Post-Medieval

Found during an excavation by Wessex Archaeology at Pinglestone Farm, Old Alresford, in 1997.

These objects were found with the body of a man buried under mysterious circumstances - in a shallow grave, on a hillside and outside of consecrated ground. They consist of eight coins, a thimble with a string inside, a finger ring, and two tags that may once have served as a purse mount.

Although the coins were minted during Tudor times, they are very worn and well used, so they were probably not buried before the early seventeenth century. They are of small denomination - six pence, a grit (four pence), three pence and two pence, a penny and a half penny - but still enough to buy a winding sheet and conduct some kind of funeral ceremony. Since this change was still on him, it is unlikely that this man was a criminal or his victim. Also, since the coins date the burial from before the Civil War, death by violence can probably be ruled out.

It is assumed that the man died of the plague and was quickly buried away from human habitation to avoid contamination among the living. The thimble could provide a clue to the man's occupation or be just another of his personal possessions.

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