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Roman silver coin hoard found in Switzerland

A Roman treasure of 293 silver coins has been discovered in a forest near Pratteln in northwestern Switzerland. The find is one of the largest Roman silver hoards in Switzerland. The coins are exclusively denarii, which according to information from Archaologie Baselland are in very good overall condition. A volunteer from Archaologie Baselland found the hoard in the summer of 2019 on the slope of the Adlerberge near Pratteln Baselland.

Roman silver coin hoard found in Switzerland
Hoard of silver denarii found near Pratteln, Switzerland
[Credit: Nicole Gebhard, Archaeology Baselland]
The oldest coin was struck under Emperor Nero, who reigned between AD 54 and 68. Most of the coins date from the second century, the most recent from the time of Emperor Commodus - they were struck in Rome in AD 181/182.

According to the communique, the find is second largest assemblage Roman silver coin hoards in Switzerland, after the treasure of Augusta Raurica (Kaiseraugst) discovered in the immediate vicinity.

Roman silver coin hoard found in Switzerland
Archaeologists recover denarii from hoard [Credit: Suzan Afflerbach,
Archaeology Baselland]
The value of the coins corresponded to about half the annual wage of a legionnaire, says the cantonal archaeologist Reto Marti from Baselbiet.

"The location of the find in an ordinary patch of forest is unspectacular from today's point of view", says the archaeologist. "In Roman times, however, there must have been a conspicuous stone or something similar there. The owner presumably wanted to keep his cash in a safe hiding place, which was not unusual at the time."

"Two Roman estates are known in Pratteln: One in the Kasteli corridor and the other near today's village centre. From the latter the owner would have always had his hiding place in view."

Source: Archaeology Baselland [trsl. TANN, November 24, 2019]


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