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A pile of gold coins from the Wickham Hoard

The Wickham Market Hoard (Ipswich)

2000 years ago a community of people living near what was to become Wickham Market gathered together a vast amount of gold coins and buried them in the ground.

These people were Iceni and lived close to their tribal border. They may have been afraid of invasion from their powerful neighbours. The coins might have been buried for safe-keeping or as a war-chest to pay skilled warriors to defend them.

The coins were never recovered. Perhaps circumstances overtook this small community and they were never able to return to their precious deposit.

Or perhaps they were so troubled by something that they poured their gold into the earth as an eternal gift to the gods in the hope their prayers would be answered.

We may never understand why the coins were buried but we can perhaps appreciate the great emotion that must have driven these people to give up their most prized possessions. Whatever the reason it was clearly more precious to them than gold.

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