Major discovery in eastern Poland

– This is an amazing phenomenon of ancient culture that can be seen in one place. This treasure will be the crown of Polish archeology – this is how silver denars found near Hrubieszów are described by prof. Andrzej Kokowski from the Institute of Archeology, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin. The coins went to the Museum Fr.. Stanisław Staszic in Hrubieszów.

The find weighs over five kilograms and consists of 1753 silver denars from the 1st and 2nd century.

A treasure left by Vandals fleeing from the Goths

– Undoubtedly, it is the largest treasure from the Roman period in the Lublin region and one of the largest found so far in Poland. It was discovered accidentally last year, and it came to us several days ago. To this day we have kept it secret – we read on the museum fan page. The coins found are a treasure of Vandals fleeing the Goths. Traces of the tribes in the Hrubieszów Basin were discovered by prof. Andrzej Kokowski.

– The treasure found near Hrubieszów has a key value in understanding the defeat of the Vandals. They had to get rid of the huge financial resources that were necessary for the war against the Goths, and were therefore virtually helpless. The hidden coins remained near Hrubieszów – they could not return nor recruit soldiers. Therefore, the Goths quietly spread to the entire southeast and took Ukraine – explains the archaeologist.

The value of the treasure is more or less a six-year pay of a Roman legionaire at that time.

According to Kokowski, the treasure found may soon become the crown of Polish archeology, and the museum in Hrubieszów will be among the most attractive archaeological institutions of Central Europe.

– Just as pilgrimages go to Berlin to see the treasure of Priam of Troy and the Pergamon Museum, now suddenly everyone will want to see the treasure that was found near Hrubieszów. There is no other place where you can see such a thing. There are both counterfeits and imitations of Roman coins or coins converted into medallions. It’s an amazing phenomenon of ancient culture that can be found in one place – says the archaeologist, for whom the recent discovery is a great event.

“I can’t sleep since I found out about this baby.” My imagination is boiling, and historical interpretations pass through my head – says the Lublin scientist.

“These things don’t happen”

The first denars were found in 2019 in a field near Cichobórze near Hrubieszów. They were noticed by Mariusz Dyl, who informed museum professionals about the discovery.

– We went to the place and together with a team of archaeologists and volunteers, which also included Mr. Dyl, and continued excavations around the place of the first find. In this way, we discovered another 137 coins – cites Bartłomiej Bartecki, director of the Museum of Fr.. Stanisław Staszic in Hrubieszów.

Coins were scattered by agricultural machinery over a space of over 100 m.

– From a social point of view, this in itself is worth special attention. Imagine that such a treasure would be found by a man who has no idea about the history and value of historical sources. He would probably sell it somewhere to the jeweler. Fortunately, we are dealing with a person aware of the material value of this treasure and knowing that the find will raise the importance of archeology in the region. These types of cases do not actually occur – says prof. Kokowski.

The management of the Hrubieszów museum emphasizes that this attitude of the finder deserves great recognition.

“We intend to apply through the Provincial Conservator of Monuments in Lublin for an award of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage for the finder. The attitude demonstrated by Mr. Mariusz Dyl, is a good example for other accidental discoverers of archaeological treasures. It should be simply said that we would never have found the treasure from Cichobórze, were it not for perceptiveness. The coins would be completely scattered in the soil and the discovery and analysis of this treasure as a valuable scientific collection of coins would not be possible “- writes the museum on Facebook.

What’s next?

The coins will soon be included in the comprehensive study, resulting in a bilingual publication.

It will also be a catalog of the exhibit, where curators will tell about the turbulent history of the Hrubieszów Basin after the end of the 2nd century, and at the same time will bring closer the colorful biographies of Roman emperors depicted on coins belonging to the treasury – from Emperor Nerva (96-98) to Septimius Severus ( 193-211).


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