The concept behind this new database is to be able to search for hoards of interest, either within a specified area, or within a specified time range for either deposition date or discovery date. Relevant hoards will then be available in a PDF report, which contains relevant references for your further research. Where references are available online then clickable links will be provided in the Hoards Report.
Click anywhere on the MCHBI Home Page map to get started, and use your browser's back button at any time to leave the mapping module.
The following explains the functions of the various buttons located around the map:
Click on A, or B, for an explanation of side icons. C marks the position of the MAIN MENU tab, which is detailed below.
Tip: When a user may wish to use polygons.
When a user is only interested in a part of Britain and Ireland they may wish to place a polygon around their AOI (area of interest) in order to not show unnecessary hoards on the map. This means that when downloading a hoard report it is not unnecessarily long through being cluttered with unneeded hoards.
Users may add more than one polygon - for example three polygons could be added if one was interested in the Viking hoards around York, the Isle of Man and Dublin. It is easy to change the shape of polygons and delete one or more polygons. The best way to become familiar with the polygon functionality is simpy to experiment.
Once a user has set up polygons and hoard filters as required they may wish to save the settings, using the icon as shown below:
Note: when generating a link for a saved set of filter parameters, and then sending that link on to someone else, the recipient will be able to see the resultant map and interrogate the hoards, but will not be able to clear the filter settings and return to the default MCHBI state. For that, the user will need to open a new MCHBI window by going to https://www.britnumsoc.uk/
See below for details of the four main tabs:
The settings menu is self-explantory. The illustration shows the default settings which are selected whenever the application is started. Any changes to these defaults are lost when a user closes the website. To save settings use the filter settings button (4th icon at top right).
Some hoards may have been buried in haste ahead of an impending battle, and it can thus be useful to know battlefield locations. When a user switches on the battlefield display option then the battlefields shown on the map will be controlled by the hoard deposition date slider, for example if hoard deposition dates of 1000-1100 AD are selected then only battles fought within those dates will have their location shown. This feature is of most use when the selected date range is quite limited. If no hoard deposition range is selected then all battlefields will be plotted on the map.
The location of many battlefields is uncertain - those locations that are reasonably well known are shown in a darker symbol.
For an example of the use of the battlefields feature zoom in on the area of the 1485 Battle of Bosworth, east of Birmingham, and look atthe Sutton Cheney hoards.
Work on adding more battlefields continues...
Record Data Quality, or Hoard Record Quality, "HRQ" is a new feature from March 2023. Read about it here
Hoard Record Quality (HRQ factor)
MCHBI contains a spectrum of different quality records. On the one hand we have hoards that were found in recent years that have been fully documented on the basis of current numismatic knowledge, and the coins have been preserved in a museum. On the other hand are reports of hoards found hundreds of years ago, vaguely documented and with little knowledge of the type and number of coins, and the whereabouts of the coins unknown.
A numismatist using MCHBI for their research may wish to have a quick and easy way to filter out unreliable hoard records. This is being implemented and the way it works is that nine different input parameters are automatically assessed, and a total record quality score (0-100) calculated for each hoard.
Another slider bar is being added MCHBI main menu such that poorer documented hoards can easily be filtered out. Also, a new option will be available to colour code hoard icons by their record quality score. Note that whenever a hoard record is updated its data quality score is automatically recalculated.
With the current scheme the record set (1,929 hoards) appears as shown below. Hoard Record Quality ("HRQ") score is along the horizontal axis, and the number of hoards is shown on the vertical axis. To better understand the distribution, it is instructive to break out the hoard record qualty scores by region:
We see that English and Welsh records are spread across the score spectrum, and the Scottish records to a certain extent though they do feature far more prominently in the lower half of the spectrum. It is the Irish and Isle of Man records though which are heavily concentrated in the lower half of the spectrum. This is unsurprising for the following reasons:
- It is only England and Wales which have the excellent PAS records
- Ireland has no equivalent to the PAS; and hoards which do get published appear with varying degrees of detail. The lack of a PAS type system probably means that many modern-day discoveries go unreported.
- The Scottish system falls between that of England/Wales and Ireland – there is a formal process but details of discovered hoards are sporadically published. The Minutes and annual reports of the Treasure Trove Unit are rather limited in the details that they supply.
It is anticipated that many MCHBI users will not apply any filtering to their datasets, but those that do wish to filter out the more unreliable records will set their low-cut filter in the 15-20 range, or lower.
Note: Hoard Location Accuracy
One of the options is to colour the hoard icons shown on the map by a colour code which denotes how accurately the hoard location is shown. The colour scale being:
The location of hoards found many years ago is often described in the literature, resulting in many older hoards being denoted with green or yellow icons, however, nowadays, given the sensitivity around illegal metal detecting ("nighthhawkers"), the precise location is often not available, and such hoards are often shown with orange markers.
In a very few cases, where a hoard site is particularly sensitive, the true location has been disguised, and the user will not be able to tell which these hoards are from the colour of the icon.
Where hoard locations are very vague, they are denoted with a red icon.
A user can select hoards of interest by moving the slider end points. In the example, above hoards are selected whose minimum deposition date (tpq) is between AD 805 and AD 960, having a minimum of 25 coins but no more than 190, and which were discovered from 1901 onwards. In this case 16 hoards were located in the database which meet these criteria. These hoards can be viewed on the map, and the user can download a report (2nd icon at top right). Note that fine control of the slider icons is achieved by using the right and left arrow keys on your keyboard.
HRQ is Hoard Record Quality, and is described under Settings above.
Working with the hoards displayed on the map.
When the map is zoomed out you will at first see more hoard clusters than hoards. Individual hoards are shown with a location icon (default colur is green).
You may zoom in to an area of interest: the zoom buttons are at top left and the map can be dragged around the screen with your mouse. As you increasingly zoom in the clusters will separate out into their individual hoards.
Going to the main menu (tab at the bottom of the screen) will allow a user to access the Settings tab - in there you have the option to switch off clustering (not recommended when you are zoomed out), and also a user may switch on the display of hoard names.
If a user has zoomed in the desired zoom level, and displayed hoards with their names, they may then wish to click on any hoard icon. Normally a single mouse click in the centre of the icon will bring up a small summary panel such as this example...
If the user wishes to see the detail for this hoard then they may click on the blue hyperlink, and the hoard report will pop up, as per this example for Dorking...
The report for an individual hoard opens in a new browswer tab, you may leave this open or close it, but to return to the map simply select the original browser tab.
The underlying concept behind this project is not to give a full description of each hoard, but just some summary details to allow a user to see if the hoard is one that they may wish to investgate further. To do this a list of references is given, with hyperlinks where the reference is readily available online. Note that through time hoard descriptions may be updated and additional references added.
This window may be closed with the X at bottom right.
Here, in Simple Search, one can search hoard data or reference data. For an example of when to use quotation marks click here
The above shows an example where the user has selected hoards containing 10 or more coins and issued by one or more Plantaganet rulers. The Advanced Search feature is very flexible, and can be used to interrogate the database for almost any set of conditions imaginable.
Note that both the Simple and Advanced search methods can be used in combination with the "sliders" - i.e. a user may select hoards from a number of coin issuers in the advanced search, and then go to the "sliders" to further restrict the hoard selection. This can sometimes be quicker as the hoards update in real time as the slider bars are adjusted. However use of two search methods at once is not a necessity as all searches can easily be accomplished with Advanced Search once a user becomes familiar with it.