Mildenhall Treasure

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A massive hoard of late Roman silverware found in a field at West Row, near Mildenhall, Suffolk, England, in ad 1942. The hoard contains 34 pieces, including a large dish depicting the head of Oceanus surrounded by friezes of sea deities and others revelling; two smaller platters with Bacchic scenes; a niello dish with geometric designs; bowls; ladles; and spoons. Some of the objects carry Christian inscriptions. The whole group is traditionally regarded as the household valuables of a wealthy Roman family who buried it in the 4th or early 5th century ad to save it from Saxon raiders. However, in 1997 Richard Hobbs and Paul Ashbee rehearsed a range of doubts over the integrity of the find, suggesting that it might have arrived in Britain during the 20th century from a findspot elsewhere in the Roman Empire.

Subjects: Archaeology.

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