Several thousand Roman silver coins buried on the banks of a German river have been discovered by an archaeology team, according to the team’s announcement. They would have been minted 1,800 years ago.

Archaeologists in the German city of Augsburg recently discovered more than 5,500 pieces of silver (weighing around 15 kg in total) that had been buried along the river during Roman times. It may be the greatest antique Roman silver treasure ever discovered in Bavaria, according to some estimates.

The team began excavations before construction crews began work on a proposed housing development in Augsburg’s Oberhausen district, which is the city’s oldest neighborhood.

Upon finding, all of these bits were strewn over the freshly created trench, which had just been dug. However, it seems likely that they were not initially positioned in this manner. As Stefan Krmnicek, a coin researcher at the University of Tübingen, puts it: “The hiding location was presumably swept away many centuries later by a flood of the Wertach river, spreading the coins in the gravel of the river.”

“We have just recently begun cleaning and examining the equipment.” It seems that the first coin was produced during the beginning of the 3rd century AD, according to what has been discovered so far,” the researcher says. This is the historical period for which we are hypothesizing that the wealth was buried outside Augusta Vindelicum (the capital of the Roman province of Raetia), close to the Via Claudia Augusta [the Roman road] leading to the city.

Other items are from a previous era. They most likely date back to the reign of the Roman Emperor Nero, which was more than 1950 years ago.

At the time of the burial of the coins, the Roman Empire was in full swing, with its money reaching every part of its territory and even into neighboring countries. It is said that these coins “are denominations, which were the standard denomination of silver throughout the first to early third centuries [AD],” according to the expert.

Additionally, archaeologists have discovered weapons, tools, utensils, and jewelry in addition to these artifacts. For the next two or three years, the task of repairing and conserving all of these artifacts will continue.

Researchers are still baffled as to why so many items were buried in such a little space.

In the words of Sebastian Gairhos, an archaeologist from the city of Augsburg, the Romans frequently buried large sums of money, particularly in the northern Roman provinces, “but these ‘pactoles’ were mostly composed of only a few hundred pieces, and rarely more than a thousand “, according to his research.

Steven Peck

Working as an editor for the Scientific Origin, Steven is a meticulous professional who strives for excellence and user satisfaction. He is highly passionate about technology, having himself gained a bachelor's degree from the University of South Florida in Information Technology. He covers a wide range of subjects for our magazine.