Amateur metal detectorist, 45, unearths rare haul of 1,000-year-old coins from the Battle of Roslin where Scots first fought for independence
- Known as the First War of Scottish Independence it took place in 1303
- More than 20,000 English soldiers were killed in the bloody battle
- Coins are now being studied by academics from the Scottish Treasure Trove unit at the National Museum of Scotland
An amateur historian has unearthed a haul of silver coins at the site of the Battle of Roslin — the First War of Scottish Independence in 1303.
The 200 coins were discovered by Jaroslaw Musialkowski, 45, his brother Marcin, 47, and his nephew Kacper, 23 on March 19 hidden beneath a tree at an undisclosed location.
Academics from the Scottish Treasure Trove unit at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, are now studying the priceless finds.
Some of the currency appears to bear a resemblance to English monarch King Edward I, who reigned from 1272 until 1307, while other coins appear to be Irish.
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The 200 coins were discovered by Jaroslaw Musialkowski, 45, his brother Marcin, 47, and his nephew Kacper, 23 on March 19 hidden beneath a tree
Mr Musialkowski, 45, (picture) said: ‘We had found some silver at the site before, but nothing of this level’
WHAT WAS THE BATTLE OF ROSLIN?
The Battle of Roslin is the famed First War of Scottish Independence.
It took place near the village of Roslin, Midlothian on 24 February 1303.
A truce with the English expired on 30 November 1302 and this caused the English to ready themselves for a fresh invasion of Scotland.
Around 30,000 Englishmen took on roughly 8,000 Scots and the invaders suffered around 22,000 – 28,000 losses.
The Scots were led by Guardian of Scotland John Comyn.
Mr Musialkowski, 45, said: ‘We had found some silver at the site before, but nothing of this level.
‘We had some archaeological experts come down and excavate the site.
‘They picked up some items but not many.
‘It was only after we went back and found 44 more coins that we realised we were really on to something.’
The Battle of Roslin took place in 1303, when Scottish forces led by Guardian of Scotland John Comyn, defeated English troops.
More than 20,000 English soldiers were killed despite the Scots army having less than half those numbers.
It is thought that around 2,000 English soldiers survived – out of 30,000 sent onto the battlefield.
The three family members returned to the site at various points over several days and eventually unearthed more than 200 coins
Amateur historian Jaroslaw Musialkowski (pictured) discovered the 14th century coins from a former military camp near the site of the Battle of Roslin
Amateur historian Mr Musialkowski, originally from Puck, in Poland, said: ‘There is a theory from local people that it could be working women’s silver.
‘There were thousands of men in the camp so it is possible.
‘But I think it is more likely to have been payment for mercenaries who took part in the battle.
‘Those hiring them would not have wanted to pay out before they were killed – it is much cheaper to just pay who is left.
‘So I think it is possible it was buried with the intention of digging it up later, but we have to wait and see what the museum says.’
He said he has discounted the idea it came from an ‘after-battle looting’ of fallen soldiers, due to the absence of jewellery and weapons.
Pottery was also found at the undisclosed site, in Midlothian, when the discovery was made in March.
A spokesman for the Scottish Treasure Trove unit confirmed they are now assessing the find, but were unable to comment further until each item has been appraised.
Pottery was also found at the undisclosed site, in Midlothian, when the discovery was made in March (pictured)
HOW DO METAL DETECTORS WORK?
The invention of the metal detector cannot be truly claimed by one person.
It is a combination and amalgamation of several different pieces of technology.
Alexander Graham Bell did fashion a device that was an electromagnetic, metal locating machine.
This was based on a device invented by physicist Heinrich Wilhelm Dove.
Sometime later, an engineer Gerhard Fischer, filed a patent regarding a design.
A metal detector consists of a stabiliser, control box, shaft, and search coil.
It is the two coils that are actually responsible for the detection of metal.
The outer coil is the transmitter coil while the inner coil is the receiver coil.
This works to detect and amplify frequencies. This type of technology is known as Very Low Frequency or VLF technology.
When electricity is provided to this transmitter coil, there is a magnetic field created around the coil.
This is the same science behind electromagnets.
When the machine wafts over metal the electrons in the metal – due to its metallic bonding and sea of electrons surrounding a fixed positively charged mass – are affected by the magnetic field.
The change in the electrons triggers a tiny electrical field in the metal object which alters the frequency of the metal detector.
This indicates metal is present.
More advanced metal detectors are also able of differentiating between different types of metal ad the frequency change is different and therefore the pitch of the note is altered.
Source: The Detectorist