Hoard of Roman Coins | Science and life


The treasure consists of almost 5,600 silver denarii of the 1st and 2nd centuries and weighs about 15 kilograms. This is a huge amount: according to experts, an ordinary legionnaire received at the beginning of the 3rd century from 375 to 500 denarii a year. This means that the size of the treasure is equivalent to 11-15 annual salaries of a soldier of the army of the Roman Empire. About find reported portal of the city of Augsburg, where the discovery was made.

The earliest coins in this “stash” belong to the era of the emperor Nero: 54-68 years, the latest – to the time of the reign of Septimius Severus. Most of the collection consists of coins of the emperors Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. The rarest ones belong to Lydius Julian, who managed to be emperor for only two months in 193.

What the treasure was hidden in is now unknown. One of the floods of the Vertach River washed it out of the soil, mixing coins with river gravel. Therefore, archaeologists believe that the treasure was hidden by the river behind the territory of the military camp and the city of Augustus Vindelikorum near the state road of Augustus Claudius.

The city of Augsburg grew out of the civilian settlement of Augustus Vindelikorum in a Roman military camp founded between 8 and 5 BC on the site of the present-day Oberhausen district. The tasks of the camp contingent included not only security, but also the creation of infrastructure surrounded by the Celtic-Illyrian tribes of the Reths and Windeliks. A decade and a half later, at the end of the reign of Emperor Octavian Augustus, the camp was moved from its original place to the present historical center of Augsburg, and a city gradually grew around it.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the course of the local river Wertach in Oberhausen was corrected, and gravel began to be mined in the area of ​​the old channel. Then the first mass finds of the end of the 1st century BC were made, but the lack of documentation about their archaeological context did not allow in the future to correctly evaluate the information received.

Archaeologists recently returned to Oberhausen for rescue excavations ahead of the construction of a residential area on the old bed of the Wertach River. Together with several thousand cubic meters of gravel, more than 400 kilograms of various artifacts of the Roman time were removed from the excavation area: weapons, tools, jewelry, dishes, ceramic containers, more than 800 coins and much more. Now the founding of a military camp at Oberhausen can be considered proven.


Source: Автономная некоммерческая организация "Редакция журнала «Наука и жизнь»" by www.nkj.ru.

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