Susie White (Local Finds Officer, NE Wales), Rob Jones, Cllr Hugh Jones (Lead member for Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Community Safety, and local councillor for Rossett)

A local metal detectorist has received an award for discovering one of the most significant Roman objects found in Wales in Recent years.

Rob Jones from Coedpoeth received the ‘Most Significant Find Wales’ award from Searcher magazine for his discovery of a Roman lead ingot near Rossett.

A rare find

An ingot (or ‘pig’) is formed when a molten metal, in this case lead, is cast into a shape ready for further processing.

The Rossett lead ingot is only half a metre long but weighs a hefty 63 kilograms.

Less than a hundred lead ingots of this type are known from the mines of Roman Britain.  This rare find is particularly significant for archaeologists and historians because of its potentially early date, the location of the find spot, and because of its unique inscription.

The inscription bears the name of Marcus Trebellius Maximus, the governor of the province of Britannia between 63 and 69CE, during the reign of the Emperor Nero. No other inscriptions with his name have ever been found in the UK, which is why it has attracted so much excitement nationally.

Upon discovering the pig, Rob immediately alerted the local Finds Officer (NE Wales) for the Portable Antiquities Scheme in Wales (PAS Cymru) based at Wrexham Museum. This allowed archaeologists to properly record the find spot so that the maximum information could be obtained concerning the object.

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‘I was amazed by how the news spread’

Rob Jones said: “I have been metal detecting since 1996 in and around the Wrexham area. I have many items recorded with Portable Antiquities Cymru, based at Wrexham Museum including items from the iron age, roman and medieval that all adds to the history of Wrexham.

“I was amazed by how the news spread around the world about my find. I had posts from America, Russia, Norway to name a few and have been featured in a few magazines including Treasure Hunting magazine and Searcher magazine and I’m delighted to hear that I won Searcher magazine’s Most Significant Find in Wales award.

“I’m so happy that it was acquired by Wrexham Museum so that it can be viewed by everyone. By finding this ingot I have been working closely with archaeologists from Wrexham and Chester and look to write a new chapter about the Romans in North Wales and to uncover more Roman history of Wrexham.”

A ‘highly deserved’ award

Cllr Hugh Jones, Wrexham County Borough Council’s lead member for Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Community Safety, and local councillor for Rossett, said: “The Rossett lead pig is highly significant in the puzzle of the early history of our area and I’d like to congratulate Rob for winning the award for this fascinating, thought provoking discovery. It is highly deserved for the dedication he has shown.’

“Research is ongoing into the discovery with the Museum and the University of Chester running a joint project called ‘In the Footsteps of Trebellius Maximus’ looking at the pig site as well as the new Roman Villa found recently nearby.”

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