More than 6,000 ancient silver coins have been found underneath a farm in Austria. The coins, which date back to the late Middle Ages, were unearthed during renovations to a farm in the village of Rainbach.
After the coins were discovered, they were given to the OÖ Lande-Kultur GmbH museum in Upper Austria (it is also called Linz Schlossmuseum) who described them as being “...wrapped in fabric and kept in a clay lidded pot.” They were placed by an individual in the foundation of the farmhouse as a hiding place and nobody found them for numerous centuries – they date back to the second half of the 15th century.
There were different types of coins in the hoard, as described by the museum, “On the one hand, these were pfennigs and their half-pieces, called ‘halves;’ on the other hand, larger coins worth several pfennigs, mainly ‘Prague groschen’ imported from Bohemia and some Milanese pegioni, popularly called ‘snake groschen’ after the coat of arms, and Tiroler Kreuzer, a type of coin of particularly high quality.”
As for who placed them there, the museum stated, “We can only make assumptions about the question of who the former owner was, most likely it was the former owner of the farm or one of his family members; servants as owners can in any case be excluded in view of the size.”
The coins need to be analyzed in further detail before the museum can say how valuable they are. They did, however, say that the discovery is “one of the most extensive, late medieval complexes from a rural milieu in our state and beyond.”
They have not yet revealed whether the coins will eventually be put on display at the museum for the public to view although they do have approximately 108,000 square feet of space that is dedicated to natural, cultural, and art history. It even has two rooms that contain a permanent display focusing on historic currency that includes ancient coins. The museum’s website reads in part, “There is a wide spectrum of permanent exhibitions in the historic castle and in the new southern wing.” “They range from geological to contemporary history and bear witness to diverse and extensive special areas.”
Whether they decide to display them or not, you can still see them as pictures of the coins and the clay pot they were found in can be viewed here.