A member of the Detecting for Veterans group has discovered Roman grave containing a rare lead-lined coffin and around 250 Roman coins in a field near Ilminster.
Kevin Minto is one of a team of detectorists working in the fields when he found first a button, then a piece of lead before discovering the hoard.
He said of the find:
“I hit two Roman coins, then one to the left, right and above...then 18 and within 20 mins we were in the 50s."
The Detecting For Veterans group was set up in 2015 by 1st Battalion Light Infantry Veteran Jason Massey. He said:
“As soon as the first coin was found I rang a Finds Liaison Officer for advice before carrying on and recording and documenting the hoard.
“The admin team acted in the best interests of the hoard as did all the present detectorists and they should all be commended for demonstrating a prime example of responsible detecting.”
In total, some 260 coins dated from 270AD - 305AD and one ring two broaches, were recovered over a period of four days.
The group then returned to the site with the Somerset Archaeological team and discovered the Roman grave.
The Roman lead coffin believed to be that of a young woman dates from 400AD.
Laura Burnett, the Somerset's Finds Liaison Officer said:
"The grave is enormously significant as only a handful of lead-lined Roman coffins have ever been found in Somerset and only 200 nationally.”
The hoard of around 260 copper alloy coins is currently with the British Museum for cleaning and formal recording.
If the British Museum or the local Museum goes on to purchase the hoard, the finder and the landowner will get a 50/50 split as per Treasure Trove rules.
The site, which is privately owned, will continue to be subject to further archaeological investigations in the New Year.