ELEVEN Roman-era finds were made in the borough of Swindon between June and July, with another seven in other parts of Wiltshire, according to the British Museum’s national Portable Antiquities Database.

The county is continuing to prove fertile ground for treasure hunters, with artefacts from the Roman era.

Wheel shards, coins brooches and toy fragments are among the dozens of treasures yielded up by the earth over the past year.

Richard Henry, finds liaison officer for Wiltshire, said: “We record around five thousand objects a year and the vast majority of them are Roman.

“Partially that’s because Romans mass-produced objects on a pretty significant scale.

“They were making coins in the third century on a scale that’s not surpassed until the 17th century.”

The House of Valentinian dynasty flooded Wiltshire with coins, providing historians with their likenesses and helping to map their empire.

“Wiltshire has significant numbers of House of Valentinian coins partly because of how prosperous Wiltshire was at the very end of the Roman period,” Richard said.

“Around that period you’d need around 7,800 bronze coins for one gold coin so they are very much best seen as small change but it’s often these coins that tell you most about a site.

“The coins are known as grots because they are quite grotty but they can tell us a lot about what is regarded as the fall of the Roman empire.

“We have now recorded more Roman coins for Wiltshire than have been recorded for the whole of north Africa”.

“I suspect it’s because we have the Portable Antiquities Scheme but it’s still pretty significant and it highlights the strength of the scheme and the partnerships with the county.”

One coin found in the borough of Swindon in April has been donated to the town’s Museum and Art Gallery. Dating from between AD 383 to 387, it has an emperor dragging a captive while advancing holding a standard.

Minted in Rome, the coin declaring GLORIA ROMANORVM is the first of its type recorded on the database.

“It’s very significant because after 378 you don’t see significant quantities of coins coming into this country until 395,” said Richard.

“What it could show is some form of imperial authority, or it could be that low value coinage reached rural sites by the end of the 4th Century, in Wiltshire especially.”

Another Roman coin dating to the time of the House of Constantine between AD 330 to 340 shows a wolf suckling twins.

A couple of years ago detectorists discovered a larger horde consisting of bronze Roman vessels packed like Russian dolls, complete with the materials used to protect the items.

“We’ve been able to prove that these Roman vessels are likely to have been deposited in the Anglo-Saxon period and the really special thing about them is that there were dried flowers inside them with seeds and petals,” Richard said.

The find, made in Pewsey, is on display at the Wiltshire Museum in Devizes, but even artefacts regarded as commonplace have their own allure.

“You never know what you’re going to receive,” Richard said.

“It’s always a pleasure when people bring things in and it’s often these little objects that tell us quite a lot about the county.”

Richard’s book Fifty Finds From Wiltshire is available to buy at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery.