27 June 2022 The Future is the Product of the Past

Treasure of 1,290 Ancient Roman Coins Discovered by Amateur Archaeologist in Switzerland

An amateur archeologist has found a big treasure trove of over 1,290 priceless, ancient Roman coins dating back to the 4th Century AD near Bubendorf, a municipality in the district of Liestal, in the canton of Basle-County, in Switzerland.

The hoard was discovered by volunteer archaeological scout Daniel Lüdin in a forested area near Wildenstein Castle in September 2021.

The finder, Daniel Lüdin, was searching a forest with a metal detector near Bubendorf, a municipality in the district of Liestal, in the canton of Basle-County, in Switzerland, when he made the discovery.

When his metal detector signaled a strong alert, Lüdin dug down a little and found a few Roman coins and some potsherds, not enough to explain the strength of the signal. He dug down a little more and hit the jackpot.

The coins which were made during the reign of Constantine the Great (AD 306-337) show portraits of the emperor and his relatives in the front. Photo: Rahel C. Ackermann, Inventar der Fundmunzen Schweiz (IFS)
The coins which were made during the reign of Constantine the Great (AD 306-337) show portraits of the emperor and his relatives in the front. Photo: Rahel C. Ackermann, Inventar der Fundmunzen Schweiz (IFS)

Daniel Lüdin was very careful. He reconsidered the find, filled in the hole, and informed Archeologie Baselland. Thanks to this professional approach, they removed the pot in a soil block so that all of the coins, pot fragments, and any invisible archaeological treasures like traces of organic remains could be excavated under laboratory conditions. The block removal also allowed researchers to CT scan the soil block to map out the contents.

They revealed that the coins in the pot had been separated in two by a piece of cowhide at the time of their burial, although it is currently unclear why and what purpose this served.

Andreas Fischer, of Archaeologie Baselland said: “One can only speculate about the meaning and purpose of this separation.”

What is clear, however, is that these coins are made of a copper alloy and of silver, and they were all “minted during the reign of Emperor Constantine the Great (306-337 AD). The youngest specimens date from the years 332-335 AD.”

A black space seen in the CT scans between two layers of coins turned out to be a simple piece of leather.
A black space seen in the CT scans between two layers of coins turned out to be a simple piece of leather. Photo: Archaeologie Baselland

The total value of 1290 coppers was the equivalent of a gold solidus or about two months’ salary for a soldier in the legions.

The expert said that often, there are simple explanations as to why people would bury their valuables, but none of them appear to apply here.

What makes the hoard so unusual is that it was buried during a time of political and economic stability. Coin hoards from the 4th century were typically buried during periods of unrest, but Constantine’s reign was not among them. Hoards from this period are vanishingly rare throughout the Empire.

3D model of the hoard after the external soil was cleaned but before the contents were excavated in the laboratory. Jan von Wartburg.

It seems likely that this one was buried for other reasons. One possibility is a religious offering as the find site was on the border between three known Roman estates, so it could have been a boundary line sacrifice.

Archaeologie Baselland

Cover Photo: The ceramic pot with the coins after professional excavation by employees of Archeology Baselland in Switzerland. (Archaologie Baselland)

Banner
Related Post

4,000-Year-Old Lion Jaw Bone Unearthed in Kültepe

14 September 2021

14 September 2021

Excavations continue in Kültepe, the starting point of Anatolian written history. During the excavations, a 4,000-year-old lion jawbone was unearthed....

200,000-year-old ‘mammoth graveyard’ found in the southwest UK

19 December 2021

19 December 2021

Researchers have unearthed a mammoth “graveyard” filled with the bony remains of five individuals, including an infant, two juveniles, and...

Mandrin cave in France shows Homo Sapiens arrived in Europe almost 10,000 years earlier than thought

10 February 2022

10 February 2022

According to archaeological research published in Science magazine on Wednesday, Homo sapiens ventured into the Neanderthal territory in Europe far...

Archaeologists discover a well-planned new urban precinct in the Egyptian settlement of Marea

2 August 2021

2 August 2021

Archaeologists excavating the ancient port settlement and cemetery of Marea in Egypt have revealed that a significant part of the...

When the waters receded, the mounds of Pulur Sakyol and Yeniköy, bearing the traces of Kura-Aras Culture, came to light

8 December 2021

8 December 2021

The important cultural areas of Pulur Sakyol and Yeniköy mounds, which bear the traces of Kura-Aras Culture, represented by kurgans...

Archaeologists uncovered an Aztec altar with human ashes in Mexico City

1 December 2021

1 December 2021

Archaeologists in Mexico have discovered a 16th-century altar in Plaza Garibaldi, the center in Mexico City famous for its revelry...

The University of Aberdeen is to Return a Benin Bronze

5 April 2021

5 April 2021

Since Nigeria gained independence in 1960, Nigeria has been calling for the return of stolen Benin bronzes (including brass reliefs,...

In Ryazan, the first birch bark letters were discovered

13 September 2021

13 September 2021

The first birch bark letters were found at the Vvedensky excavation site in the Kremlin in Pereyaslavl Ryazan (modern Ryazan)....

Researchers explored a rock art site near Idupulapaya in India

1 October 2021

1 October 2021

A rock art site was discovered near Idupulapaya in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Rock paintings from the Megalithic...

First European farmers’ heights did not meet expectations

9 April 2022

9 April 2022

A combined study of genetics and skeletal remains shows that the switch from primarily hunting, gathering and foraging to farming...

New Huge Viking-age boat grave discovered by Radar in Norway

12 April 2022

12 April 2022

Archaeologists have located a boat grave from the Viking Age near Øyesletta in Norway during a ground-penetrating radar (GPR) survey....

Archaeologists may have found the lost 2,000-year-old ancient city of Bassania in Albania

19 June 2022

19 June 2022

Polish archaeologists may have discovered the 2,000-year-old lost city of Bassania in Albania. The remains of two large ancient stone...

Unprecedented 1800-year-old marble bathtub recovered in Turkey

23 April 2022

23 April 2022

The 1800-year-old marble bathtub, which was seized when it was about to be sold by historical artifact smugglers in Aydın’s...

To The West of Turkey Ancient Quarry Found

28 March 2021

28 March 2021

Turkey is very lucky in terms of ancient settlements. It is home to many unexplored artifacts, along with well-preserved ancient...

Archaeologists unearth 600,000-year-old evidence of Britain’s early inhabitants

22 June 2022

22 June 2022

New finds have indicated that some of Britain’s earliest people lived in the Canterbury suburbs. According to the research, led...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.