During the summer of 2012 two men, using metal detectors, discovered ancient treasure in a field in Jersey. This treasure of compacted coins had lain hidden for up to 2,000 years.
These coins were made about 2,000 years ago – when Julius Caesar and his Roman legions were conquering and the Channel Islands were changing from a Celtic way of life to a Roman style of living.
Three hundred years before the birth of Christ, the Channel Islands were firmly in the Celtic world. Today we know these areas as Brittany and Normandy and the larger islands are Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark. The Romans referred to this region as Armorica and the people as Gauls.
By the time the Romans arrived the region was settled by a number of different tribes whom we know by the names the Romans gave them. The closest tribes to the Channel Islands were the Unelli to the east and the Coriosolites to the south.
In the middle of the 1st century BC Julius Caesar was leading his Roman legions over the Alps against the peoples of Gaul (modern day France). By 56 BC three Roman legions were attacking the people of Armorica. By 52 BC the Roman conquest was complete and all of Armorica, including the Channel Islands, was part of the Roman World.
We believe that the coin hoards date from this time. If we are right, then they represent a shift in the history of the Channel Islands as they represent for the struggle between an independent Celtic world or a subservient Roman future.