Builders find time capsule containing 19th century ‘coins and documents’ while digging up roundabout
Builders have stumbled across a German time capsule containing documents and coins from the second half of the 19th century.
The glass capsule was found on Tuesday, March 7, during work on a roundabout in the town of Oława in Lower Silesia when workers removed a previously existing historical column.
Contained in a transparent glass container, documents in German bearing the date 1864 and coins from the second half of the 19th century can be seen.
Several gold, silver and copper coins are visible in the transparent container, but they will only be able to be identified precisely when the capsule is opened.
Oława District Council said: “During the work of moving part of the column, which now stands on the site of a kindergarten, and where a new roundabout is being built - a time capsule was found.
“What exactly is inside the glass container is not yet known. Photos show coins and a paper document. The find will now be dealt with by archaeologists."
However, according to treasure-hunting website Zwiadowca Historii, one of the coins is a silver thaler known as a "vereinsthaler" and was minted in 1866 in Vienna during the reign of Emperor Franz Joseph I.
Oława is a historic town in Lower Silesia and was the German town Ohlau before World War Two.
In the 19th century and even earlier, Germans were fond of burying time capsules inside construction projects that they were particularly proud of, for example, bridges and church steeples.
They often included coins and official documents in these capsules, and sometimes handwritten notes and photographs as a way of immortalising their civic efforts for future generations.
Such time capsules are periodically discovered in parts of Poland.
In May 2020, the oldest time capsule ever discovered in Europe from 1797 and equal in age to the oldest in the world was discovered in Lower Silesia during repair work in a former evangelist church in Ziębice.
Meanwhile, in 2019, a time capsule dating back to 1851 buried by the Prussian king Frederick William IV was sensationally discovered during work on an historic 19th-century bridge in the northern Polish town of Tczew.