The Gold of the Iceni
with Jude Plouviez
(former Senior Archaeological Officer, Suffolk County Council)
at Sutton Hoo on Saturday, 12th May, 2018


We shall examine the practice of hoarding wealth in the territory of the Iceni throughout the period that they are historically attested as a tribal group (the later Iron and Roman periods in East Anglia), ranging from the extraordinary multiple groups of torcs found at Snettisham to the huge treasures of Mildenhall and Hoxne.

Provisional Programme

09.50 – 10.15:          Coffee on arrival

10.15 – 11.15:          Gold in the hills.

We shall look at Iron Age wealth, the Snettisham torcs, ideas about deposition, other evidence for status and the pre-Roman coin hoards.

11.15 – 11.40:          Coffee break

11.40 – 12.40:          Kings and Emperors.

What do we know of the political background in the 1st century AD and how may it be reflected in the archaeological material?

12.40 – 14.00:          Lunch break

14.00 – 14.50:          Treasure from Mildenhall, Thetford, Hoxne and beyond.

The late Roman hoards range from iron tools to silver plate and gold jewellery but what do they actually represent? We shall look at the detail of what was being buried and where.

14.50 – 15.10:          Tea break

15.10 – 16.00:          A religious tradition or simple necessity?

                                There are various explanations for Roman hoards – can we begin to fit the late ones into a picture of changes in the 4th and 5th centuries?

c.16.00:                   Thanks and Close

About Jude Plouviez

Jude Plouviez studied prehistoric archaeology at London University but has since specialised mainly in the Roman period. She worked for the Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service for over 30 years, during which time she co-authored an account of the Roman period in Suffolk and the results of the large-scale excavations at Hacheston. Her work at SCCAS also included recording the material found by metal detectorists. In 1992 she co-directed the excavation of the Hoxne hoard, and her account of this is in the British Museum catalogue and discussion of the objects. Following retirement from SCC she is a part-time research associate on the Leverhulme-funded project “Lordship & Landscape in East Anglia AD 400 – 800” which is setting recent survey work at the royal site in Rendlesham in its regional context.


When asked at a previous Study Day by Jude ‘What was best about the day?’ people said:

  • Hearing a practitioner talk with enthusiasm as well as expertise about new developments in her fields & her informal style disguises great learning
  • Excellent speaker, well illustrated & informative lecture
  • Very enjoyable day
  • Feeling we’d got a hands-on approach. Also what was available over the border from Norfolk
  • Hearing Jude, seeing her pictures of the various hoards, and not least meeting old friends
  • Putting the history of the Iceni within the context of the archeological evidence. Also late C4 & C5 commentary
  • Slides of finds & detailed descriptions
  • Very enjoyable overall, very informative without being too intellectually taxing


Some Suggestions for Optional Background Reading

Abdy, R.A., Romano-British Coin Hoards (Shire Publications 2002)

Bland, R., & C.Johns, The Hoxne Treasure: An Illustrated Introduction (British Museum Press, London 1993)

Davies, J., The Land of Boudica: Prehistoric and Roman Norfolk (Oxbow 2009)

Davies, J., & T.Williamson (eds), Land of the Iceni: the Iron Age of Northern East Anglia (Centre of East Anglian Studies 1999)

Hobbs, R., The Mildenhall Treasure (British Museum Objects in Focus series, 2012)

Hobbs, R., The Mildenhall Treasure: Late Roman Silver Plate from East Anglia (British Museum Research Publication 200, 2016 and online at )

Hutcheson, N., Later Iron Age Norfolk: Metalwork, landscape and society (British Archaeological Reports 361, Oxford 2004)

Johns, C. M., The Hoxne Late Roman Treasure: Gold Jewellery and Silver Plate, (British Museum Press, 2010)

Johns, C., & T.Potter, The Thetford Treasure (London 1983)

Moore, I., J.Plouviez, & S.West, The Archaeology of Roman Suffolk (Suffolk County Council 1986)

Sealey, P., The Boudican Revolt against Rome (Shire Archaeology 2004)

Talbot, J., Made for Trade: A New View of Icenian Coinage (Oxbow Books, 2017)