Roman pot filled with lamps and bronze coins found in Switzerland
Archaeologists are puzzled over the discovery of a Roman-era earthenware pot filled with oil lamps and bronze coins in the commune of Windisch, in the northern Swiss canton of Aargau.
|Cooking pot filled with lamps and coins [Credit: Aargau Canton Archaeology Department, Bela Polyvas]|
It is thought to have been buried almost 2,000 years ago, dating it from the time of the Roman legion camp Vindonissa, which was located near where Windisch is now.
Previous archaeological digs in the area have unearthed evidence of human habitation dating from the Roman era, including the foundations of buildings.
|Latrine pit filled with lovely archaeological garbage [Credit: Aargau Canton Archaeology Department]|
The pot is typical of the cooking pots used by soldiers stationed at Vindonissa, however the purpose of its contents – 22 oil lamps, each containing a carefully placed coin – is rather more mysterious.
Each of the lamps is decorated with an image, including the moon goddess Luna, a gladiator, a lion, a peacock and an erotic scene.
|The pot was filled with 22 oil lamps, each containing a coin [Credit: Aargau Canton Archaeology Department]|
“What astonished us was the quantity and the combination of coins and lamps,” said Aargau cantonal archaeologist Georg Matter.
“We suspect this is a ritual burial,” he said, but stressed that was only speculation since there haven’t been any other comparable discoveries.
|Roman walls from Vindonissa [Credit: Aargau Canton Archaeology Department]|
“The intentions behind this burial are puzzling at the moment,” added Matter.
Vindonissa was a Roman military camp until 101AD, after which time the area continued to be settled by civilians.
Source: The Local [November 15, 2016]