четверг, 17 октября 2019 г.

Huge medieval coin hoard found in southeastern Denmark

A treasure of 1,000 silver coins from the Middle Ages has been found in Vejle close to a forest. The coins, which are made of 80 percent silver and 20 percent copper, weigh approximately one gram apiece.

Huge medieval coin hoard found in southeastern Denmark
Some of the coins from hoard [Credit: VejleMuseerne]

Some 803 of them are loose, while the rest, up to 1,000, are attached to the remains of the pot in which they were buried.

The story behind the find is more or less a treasure hunt in itself! It all started back in March 2017 when an elderly couple walking in the woods by Uhrhøj found four coins lying on the path between some twigs and leaves. The couple later handed in the coins to VejleMuseerne.

In August 2018, another coin found in the same area was handed in to the museum, and then another one last month.

This prompted Kasper Terp Høgsberg, an archaeologist at VejleMuseerne, to visit the area with a metal detector on September 30, and it did not take him long to find the whole treasure.

Huge medieval coin hoard found in southeastern Denmark
Excavation of the coin hoard en bloc [Credit: VejleMuseerne]

The treasure is the first of its kind from the period found in the area, and the museum believes it might bring more nuance to the local history.

“It felt completely unreal. It is a once-in-a-lifetime thing to find such a treasure. It will never happen again in my career as an archaeologist!” said Høgsberg.

“I thought I was going to find a lost purse with 20 coins along a road, but it just kept going until I eventually had hundreds of coins.”

The coins are a mix between Danish coins and coins minted in German Hanseatic cities in the early 1400s. One of the Danish coins was minted in 1424, and experts believe the treasure was buried within the following two to three decades.

Huge medieval coin hoard found in southeastern Denmark
Coins attached to textile fragment [Credit: VejleMuseerne]

During those years, there were many conflicts between Denmark and the northern German Hanseatic cities. However, the Hanseatic League, despite the conflict, was Denmark’s main trading partner, which explains the mix of coins.

Archaeologists estimate that the value of the coins at the time would be the equivalent of buying 10 cows – or enough to feed a farmer’s family for more than a year.

The museum believes in the possibility there are more coins out there, and it has launched a call for people to hand over any coins found in the area to the museum.

Source: The Copenhagen Post [October 12, 2019]



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