02 May 2022
A rare 2,000 year old Celtic coin, thought to be connected with the slave trade in Iron Age Britain, is set to be sold in July by Celtic coin specialists Chris Rudd.
Found near Dover, Kent in 1990, the coin is a gold stater of Sego, who may have been a son of Tasciovanos and who ruled in east Kent sometime around AD 5-15.
“I think Sego was involved in the cross-Channel slave trade,” says Elizabeth Cottam, the Celtic coin specialist.
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“I suspect that Sego bought captives from other British tribal rulers, paid for them with gold staters like this one, and ferried them across the Channel to Gallo-Roman slave traders.”
In support of her theory Liz says that Strabo, the Greek geographer, reported that slaves were one of Britain’s main exports, that a slave chain has been found in Kent and that a Celtic silver coin, also found in Kent, shows a Roman wine amphora being carried by two slaves.
“That’s not all,” she says. “Similar Roman wine amphorae have been found in Kent and, what’s more, Sego’s name is on a Cantian bronze coin which displays what could well have been a cross-Channel slave ship.”
The Sego gold stater is apparently one of only eight known, five of which are in museums. It will be sold by auction in Norwich on 17th July by Chris Rudd Ltd and is expected to fetch £10,000.
Sego Warrior gold stater, c.AD 5-15, ABC 441, found near Dover, Kent, 1990. Only seven others recorded.