Hoard of Roman gold coins discovered in orchard

Hoard of 41 gold coins dated to the 5th cent. AD were discovered in an orchard in Lienden, near Veenendaal, Netherlands. Some of the coins bear the image of Emperor Flavius Julius Valerius Majorianus, known as Majorian (420-461 AD).

Hoard of gold coins (by Valkhof Museum Nijmegen)

Experts believe that the hoard was buried by a Frankish military leader in the second half of the fifth century, when the area was part of the Western Roman Empire. Basing on the image of Emperor Majorian, who reigned for four years from 457, it is suspected that the treasure was buried around 460. Archaeologists consider the find as unusual because it dates from so late in the period, and indicated that the Romans recruited soldiers and sought help in the area. Experts state that the gold was likely to have been paid to the Frankish warlord by the Romans in exchange for help with their troubles with local Germanic tribes such as the Visigoths. Maps of the are from the 19th century show that there used to be a burial mound at the spot where the coins were found, which suggests the owner planned to return and collect them.


(after Valkhof Museum Nijmegen & Dutch News)

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