Indiana Jones-inspired metal detectorist finds £65k Roman hoard

Metal Detectorist George Ridgway unearthed 748 roman and Iron age denarii in a hoard he found near his home in Ashbocking

Metal Detectorist George Ridgway unearthed 748 roman and Iron age denarii in a hoard he found near his home in Ashbocking - Credit: George Ridgway

A Suffolk man who unearthed a Roman hoard worth around £65,000 said he had "achieved his childhood dream".

George Ridgway, from Ashbocking, unearthed the stash in a field near his home after satellite images showed an “interesting crop mark”. 

When George, who has a dog called Indy, searched the area with his metal detector, he found two Roman brooches, and when he kept going, his detector gave off a strong reading signifying silver. 

George Ridgway works at his families butchers, Swiss Farm Butchers in Aldeburgh

George Ridgway works at his families butchers, Swiss Farm Butchers in Aldeburgh - Credit: George Ridgway

He said: “I dug down and six inches into the earth, was a silver denarius of Julius Caesar, which is amazing because you think how iconic he is, and that coin was from 46-47BC. 

“That coin in itself would have been the find of a lifetime, just that one, but I carried on searching, a few feet away, I had another silver denarius, and then another. 

“From then it went crazy and within a few hours, I had accumulated around 180 denarii (Roman coins).” 

The find included silver denarii with Julius Caesar on dating back to 46-47BC 

The find included silver denarii with Julius Caesar on dating back to 46-47BC - Credit: George Ridgway

The 31-year-old discovered not only silver denarii from Julius Caesar's time but also Iron Age coins and shards of pottery. 

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“It was unbelievable really because I actually grew up next to a Roman road, I have always been passionate about Roman history," he said.

“Finding one coin was unbelievable and then I just had handfuls of silver denarii. I remember holding them in my hand and thinking: ‘I have done it. I have achieved my childhood dream. I’ve found a roman hoard.’

"It was amazing – adrenaline was surging through my body.” 

Silver Denarii from Julius Caesar time

Silver Denarii from Julius Caesar time - Credit: George Ridgway

George says one of his biggest influences is Indiana Jones. As well as having a dog called Indy, he often wears the hat and whip like the fictional archaeology professor. 

Over the following three months, George and his family scoured the area and tried to uncover as much as they could. 

Earlier this month, the hoard was provisionally valued at £65,000. 

George Ridgway celebrating after his find

George Ridgway celebrating after his find - Credit: George Ridgway

The money will be split between George – who received his first metal detector from his grandma when he was 13 – and the landowner who remains unnamed. 

George's find recently featured on the More4 TV show 'Great British History Hunters' which aired May 18. You can watch the show here.

A young George in his Indiana Jones attire with hat and whip

A young George in his Indiana Jones attire with hat and whip - Credit: George Ridgway