Treasure of 5,500 Roman-era silver coins found in Germany | Smart News

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The coins cover the reigns of Nero (54 to 68 CE) to Septimius Severus (193 to 211 CE).
Andreas Brücklmair / Kunstsammlungen & Museen

Archaeologists in Augsburg, Germany have discovered a huge collection of more than 5,500 Roman coins dating back almost 2,000 years.

The coins “are deniers, the standard denomination of silver from the first to the beginning of the third century. [C.E.]», Says Stefan Krmnicek, numismatist at the University of Tübingen. Live ScienceIt’s Owen Jarus.

Weighing a total of 33 pounds, the find represents the largest ancient Roman silver treasure ever found in Bavaria, Ancient origins reports. Researchers found the treasure in an ancient riverbed while excavating before a housing complex was built.

Augsburg, located about 40 miles northwest of Munich in southern Germany, began as a Roman military camp built under Emperor Augustus between 8 and 5 BCE, notes the History blog. The camp became the city of Augusta Vindelicorum, which later became the capital of the Roman province of Raetia.

As Sebastian Gairhos, head of Augsburg’s archaeological department, said in a statement, the silver was likely buried outside the city in the early third century and washed away in a flood hundreds of years ago. late.

He adds: “The pieces were thus scattered in the gravel of the river.

The treasure was worth 11 to 15 times the annual salary of a private soldier (between 375 and 500 deniers).

Treasure of 5,500 Roman-era silver coins discovered in Germany

Other finds made at the site include an intricate oil lamp with a handle shaped like a crescent moon.

Monika Harrer / Stadt Augsburg

“This sum of money must have been huge by old standards,” Krmnicek told German television station ZDF, according to a translation by Arkeonews. “This [was] certainly not owned by someone who belonged to the lower social pyramid, [but rather] people who were active in the military or in commerce.

The oldest coins in the cache were minted under Emperor Nero (reign 54-68 CE), while the most recent dates from the time of Septimius Severus (193-211 CE). Rare pieces of the reign of Didius Julianus, who ruled for only two months before being killed in AD 193, also appear.

“Augsburg’s rich history has now become even richer,” Mayor Eva Weber said in the statement, adding that the find offers further evidence of the city’s importance within the Roman Empire.

Excavations in the riverbed have already yielded a number of finds, including weapons, tools, jewelry, and crockery, as well as an intact bronze oil lamp with a handle in the shape of a Crescent moon. As the city announced in June, the findings suggest Augsburg was Bavaria’s oldest Roman base. The artefacts prove that women lived in the camp and that its first residents came from all over the Roman Empire, including Italy, Spain, North Africa and southern France.

In Roman times, the province of Raetia, which included parts of present-day Austria, Switzerland and Germany, was important for its strategic position, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. Raetia controlled two major highways, one connecting Italy to the Danube and the other between Gaul and the Balkan Mountains. This meant the province could block roads that invaders from the north could use to attack Italy.

The city is planning a temporary exhibition of the pieces, as well as other finds from the Roman era, between December 17 and January 9. Researchers continue to study the coins, seeking information about their history and previous owners.

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