County treasure to be featured in new book

A NEW book will go on sale later this month charting the history of the world through the use of 100 artefacts – including a Roman pepper pot unearthed in Suffolk.

The pepper pot was part of the Hoxne Hoard, the largest collection of Roman treasure ever discovered on British soil that was priced at more than �1.75million.

The hoard was dug up by Eric Lawes in 1992 in Hoxne, near Eye, and as well as three other pepper pots contained about 15,234 coins and 200 gold objects.

They were all found to be inside the remains of a rotted wooden chest and had been left undisturbed for centuries.

The significance was not only in the size of the hoard, but that metal-detectorist Mr Lawes and landowner Peter Whatling quickly called in experts and the site was fully excavated by archeologists. The Hoxne pepper pot, which was made in the 4th Century and is in the shape of a Roman noble woman, is one of the 100 objects being used in the joint project by BBC Radio 4 and the British Museum.

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It is featured alongside dozens of significant artefacts dating back to a two-million-year-old hand axe to a modern credit card.

Other important local items on the list include the Sutton Hoo helmet, part of an Anglo Saxon burial site uncovered in 1939.

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Now a new book, written by British Museum director Neil MacGregor, is being published to coincide with the end of the project.

A museum spokesman said: “Inspired by the BBC Radio 4 series, this book explores the stories behind all of the 100 objects featured in the hugely successful programme.

“This book takes a dramatically original approach to the history of humanity, using objects which previous civilisations have left behind them, often accidentally, as prisms through which we can explore past worlds and the lives of the men and women who lived in them.

“The book’s range is enormous. It begins with one of the earliest surviving objects made by human hands, a chopping tool from the Olduvai gorge in Africa, and ends with an object from the 21st Century which represents the world we live in today.”

The book is available for pre-order from the British Museum website,

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