Coins of Arabia! Giant haul of Arabian coins dating back 1,000 years found near Baltic
A treasure trove of Arab coins dating back some 1,000 years has been discovered in an old German cemetery near the Baltic coast.
Archaeologists unearthed the rare find, which now comes to around 70 items, as they were carrying out routine work on the graveyard near the town of Kamień Pomorskie in the north-west, not far from the German border.
“After moving some foliage I noticed a grey object sticking out of the ground,” said Tomasz Rindfleiesch, from the team of archaeologists that discovered the treasure. “It turned out to be part of an Arab coin called a dirham. After a moment Mariusz [his colleague] noticed another one, this time in its entirety.
“Historians and treasure hunters know very well that one item could be treated as something lost, but discovering two set off warning lights in our heads that we were perhaps dealing with real treasure,” he added.
The team contacted the authorities and got permission to launch a formal dig on the site.
So far they have unearthed about dozens items including one whole coin and many pieces of other coins.
It remains unclear how the coins came to be buried in the cemetery but they probably came to the region in the first place as a result of trade between various peoples of Europe and the Arab world.
Being silver the coins would have retained considerable value after the original transaction and as a consequence many were cut up into smaller amounts to make them handy for day-to-day purchases.
Along with the silver the team also dug up an ancient fragment of pottery with Slavic markings on it, and the remains of a German Mauser rifle dating back to the Second World War.
The coins will now be sent to experts for analysis who will determine their exact age and try and find out where they came from.
The site of their discovery has also been secured and archaeologists are planning to dig deeper to see what else they can find.