News (Ancient) Roman Lead Ingot Discovered in Wales


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One of the most significant Roman objects found in Wales in recent years has been discovered by a metal detectorist.

The object found was a large lead ingot or ‘pig’ (about half a metre long, weighing 63 kilograms). The ‘writing’ reported by Mr Jones was a cast Latin inscription confirming that it was Roman and about 2,000 years old.

The exploitation of Britain’s natural resources was one of the reasons cited by Roman authors for the invasion of Britain by the Emperor Claudius in AD 43.

Lead ore or galena contains silver as well as lead, and both were valuable commodities for the Romans.

Less than a hundred lead ingots of this type are known from the mines of Roman Britain.

The rare find is particularly significant for archaeologists and historians because of its potentially early date, the location of the find spot, and because of its unique inscription.


Metal detectorists can be so useful as well as destructive to archeology. This one falls into the latter fortunately. Nice find.
That signal must have made a right racket in his or her ear which would have served as an alarm bell to a seasoned detectorist not to bother digging it. I suspect he/she might have been inexperienced. I'd guess most hoards and large artefacts found are by either inexperienced or specialized detectorists.