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1,800-year-old Roman treasure has just been found by chance

Roman coins are regularly found in the four corners of Europe showing the domination of the Empire at the beginning of the first millennium, but rare are the treasures as abundant as this one.

When we think of the Romans, we logically remember the Italian capital, the Colosseum and the men in togas who constitute the perfect stereotype of that time. But the Roman Empire was much larger and it was not limited to the simple Italian city. After the conquest of Gaul by Caesar and its decisive victory at Alésia, the Romans took possession of what would become France, but also of part of the future Germany, the border with the “Germans” being rather blurred during these centuries.

It is therefore not uncommon for archaeologists to find evidence of the passage of the Romans in the regions of Baden-Württenberg today. Some Roman advances even make it possible to find traces of this Latin people as far as Bavaria, but the troops were only occasionally present in history, which makes discoveries more rare.

5000 pieces at the water’s edge

So when a team of researchers came to dig around a small river in the Bavarian town of Augsburg, they had no high hopes. This mission was even rather a chore, a mandatory passage since the area was to be used for real estate constructions, the Bavarian state therefore wanted to ensure upstream that the basement did not contain priceless secrets.

What was the surprise of the researchers when they got their hands on a first silver coin, now dated to more than 1800 years ago? Finally, more than 5,000 pieces, for a total of 15 kilograms of silver, will be discovered by researchers. A real archaeological treasure which is one of the most important in the history of Bavaria.

An unexpected discovery

For Stefán Krmnicek, a researcher and specialist in the issue of ancient coins at the University of Tübingen, these coins date back to 1800 years for the younger ones, while the oldest would have been made during the reign of Emperor Nero. Known to have burnt Rome, the latter ruled the Empire between 54 and 68.

To give an idea of ​​the amount discovered by the researchers, they explain that these 5,000 pieces of silver correspond to 11 years of salary for a Roman legionary. Imagine today that the latter was at the minimum wage, that would make more than 209,000 euros buried in Bavarian soil.

While it is not uncommon to find Roman coins buried in the ground, especially in the northernmost and most unstable provinces of the Empire, these “jackpots” rarely exceed the threshold of a thousand coins, because it already corresponded to a very large sum for the time.

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