Hundreds of 8th century Arabian coins found by man digging for mushrooms
A mushroom picker foraging in woods beside a river got more than just fungus after he unearthed a “sensational find” of hundreds of rare Arab coins dating back centuries.
Bartosz Michałowski found the coins in a landslip on the banks of the River Słupia near his village of Strzelinko, not far from the northern town of Słupsk.
Experts from a museum in Lębork have examined the treasure and said that all but two of the coins are Arab in origin and date back to the 8th and 9th centuries.
The two exceptions are Persian from the 7th century.
The museum said there were 200 whole silver coins and hundreds of fragments of other ones, all of which had lain buried beside the river for hundreds of years.
“At the moment we are making an inventory of the treasure and working on its preservation, but we can say that this a sensational find that will enrich our knowledge of the early medieval period and the great extent of trading patterns,” said the museum on its Facebook page.
Excavating around the site of the find archeologists also found the remains of a hand-painted pot, which they believe held the coins until it was broken open by tree roots.
The buzz the treasure has generated in archaeologists and historians was shared by its finder.
“What do you feel when you come across such a find? Excitement,” Mr Michałowski is quoted as saying by GP24.pl, a local news site.
Although just how the coins came to be buried by the river will never be determined experts believe that they may have belonged to a merchant as there was trade between northern Europe and the Arab world despite the distances.
The coins, being silver, would have retained their value and owners may well have cut sections out them to make small purchases.