A Polish farmer was out searching for abandoned antlers when he discovered a large amount of ancient Roman coins. It was in fact a very significant find as it is one of the largest treasures from the Roman period to be found in Poland and it’s the largest ever to be discovered in the Lublin region. The farmer, whose name is Mariusz Dyl, uncovered the coins in a field near Cichobórz which is located south of Hrubieszów near Lublin.
The coins were not all in one place, as they were spread out across the field and were discovered when farming equipment turned them up. After his discovery last year, Dyl contacted the museum in Hrubieszów who then sent out a team of archaeologists and volunteers to search the area even further and they found another 137 coins. A total of 1,753 ancient Roman coins weighing more than five kilos (eleven pounds) were uncovered at the location.
Experts were able to date the coins back to the second century because they had pictures on them of the Roman emperors Nerva (who ruled from 96 to 98 AD) and Septimius Severus (who ruled from 193 to 211 AD). It is believed that the coins were placed in a leather pannier or wooden casket because eight silver-plated rivets made of bronze were found with the coins.
Archaeologists believe that the coins were abandoned by the Vandals before being forced out by the Goths at the end of the second century AD. The Vandals were Roman-era Germanic people who lived in the southern part of Poland, while the Goths were also Germanic people who more than likely came from the southern part of Scandinavia and who played a part in the Western Roman Empire’s crumble.
It’s been suggested that the Vandals didn’t leave peacefully, “It didn’t happen without fighting. From this period we know of numerous Vandal cemeteries where warriors were buried with ritually destroyed weapons were buried,” explained Bartłomiej Bartecki, who is the museum’s director.
Andrzej Kozłowski, who works at the Archaeology Institute in Lublin and who uncovered the presence of the Goths in the area, weighed in by stating, “The situation was so bad for the Vandals retreating, or rather the fleeing from the Goths that they hid everything that was most precious,” adding, “They had to get rid of huge financial resources that were necessary to wage war with the Goths, and therefore they ended up helpless. The hidden coins remained under Hrubieszów.” “They couldn’t come back for them and could not recruit soldiers. That is why the Goths peacefully spread to the whole south-east and occupied Ukraine.”
Kozłowski described the significance of the discovery, “This is an amazing phenomenon of ancient culture that can be seen in one place. This treasure will be the crown of Polish archaeology.”
The coins are currently at the Hrubieszów museum and will be studied by experts from the University of Warsaw. Pictures of the coins can be seen here.