Hoard Of 5,600 Silver Coins From Roman Empire 2000 Years Ago Discovered In Germany

A hoard of 5,600 silver coins from the Roman Empire dating back nearly 2,000 years have been unearthed in Germany.

The Augsburg Art Collections and Museum said in a statement that the 5,600 silver coins that the archaeologists unearthed is the largest ever such find in the southern German state of Bavaria.

They said that the silver coins were minted in the denarii Roman currency and that they date back to the first and second centuries AD. They were discovered in an old, gravel riverbed near the location of what was once an early Roman military base.

The coins, which weigh approximately 15 kilogrammes (33 lbs) in total, were discovered after floods in the small town of Wertach flushed them out.

Dr. Sebastian Gairhos, Head of City Archeology in front of the Silver Treasure.
(M. Harrer, KMA/Newsflash)

They are currently being analysed at the University of Tuebingen, according to the statement.

The discovery took place during excavation work in the Oberhausen district under the supervision of the city archaeology department in Augsburg and it was presented to the public in the presence of Augsburg Mayor Eva Weber.

Sebastian Gairhos, head of the city archeology Augsburg, said: “A soldier earned between 375 and 500 Denarii in the early 3rd century. The treasure therefore is the equivalent of about 11 to 15 annual salaries.”

The statement said that the oldest of the coins were minted under Emperor Nero (54-68 AD) and the most recent were minted under Septimius Severus, shortly after 200 AD.

The archaeologists also discovered coins from the eras of Emperors Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. They also found rare coins from the era of Didius Iulianus, who was only Emperor for nine weeks before his murder in 193 AD.

Mayor Weber said: “Augsburg’s rich history just got richer. Again, the importance of Augsburg during Roman times has been made abundantly clear.”

Augsburg has a rich Roman history. Between 8 and 5 BC, under Emperor Augustus, a military camp was established in the newly conquered foothills of the Alps in today’s part of the city of Oberhausen.

Previous archaeological discoveries in the area have included weapons, devices, jewellery, over 800 coins, dishes, transport vessels and much more.

The silver treasure of urban archeology.
(Andreas Brucklmair, KMA/Newsflash)

The statement said that the newly discovered objects are “chronologically meaningful”, especially the coins. They allow for the first Roman base in the area to be dated to between 8 and 5 BC.

The task of the troops in the area was to build up the infrastructure, on top of their strictly military duties.

Towards the end of the reign of Emperor Augustus (around 10 AD), the first base was replaced by a military camp for around 3,000 soldiers.

From this base, the early civilian settlement of what would become Augsburg emerged – it was called Augusta Vindelicum in Mediaeval times.

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Story By: Joseph GolderSub-EditorJoseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash

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