NEW DELHI: A few days back, when workers digging at the site of a 2500-year-old city at Tarighat in Chhattisgarh found a stack of gold and copper coins, the news soon spread like wildfire as a gaggle of villagers assembled at the site in the hope of striking gold.
Although archaeologists deny local reports which claimed the discovery led to a gold rush causing pandemonium and attempts at pilfering, the fact remains that discovery of buried gold in India has almost always led to chaos and plundering.
The biggest - and perhaps the most shocking - incident of archaeological plundering in the country happened in the year 2000 in the village of Mandi, near Muzzafarnagar in Uttar Pradesh. Three women labourers, while scraping the topsoil from a field, uncovered what was perhaps the largest haul of ancient bullion ever found collectively in India. Read more.
Five copper coins and a nearly 70-year-old map with an ‘‘X’’ might lead to a discovery that could rewrite Australia’s history.
Australian scientist Ian McIntosh, currently Professor of Anthropology at Indiana University in the US, plans an expedition in July that has stirred up the archaeological community.
The scientist wants to revisit the location where five coins were found in the Northern Territory in 1944 that have proven to be 1000 years old, opening up the possibility that seafarers from distant countries might have landed in Australia much earlier than what is currently believed.
Back in 1944 during World War II, after Japanese bombers had attacked Darwin two years earlier, the Wessel Islands - an uninhabited group of islands off Australia’s north coast - had become a strategic position to help protect the mainland.
Australian soldier Maurie Isenberg was stationed on one of the islands to man a radar station and spent his spare time fishing on the idyllic beaches.
While sitting in the sand with his fishing-rod, he discovered a handful of coins in the sand. Read more.
Danish museum officials say that an archaeological dig last year has revealed 365 items from the Viking era, including 60 rare coins, AP reported.
Danish National Museum spokesman Jens Christian Moesgaard says the coins have a distinctive cross motif attributed to Norse King Harald Bluetooth, who is believed to have brought Christianity to Norway and Denmark.
Sixteen-year-old Michael Stokbro Larsen found the coins and other items with a metal detector in a field in northern Denmark.
Stokbro Larsen, who often explores with his detector, said he is often laughed at because friends find him “a bit nerdy.”
Moesgaard said Thursday, May 16 that it was the first time since 1939 that so many Viking-era coins have been found, calling them “another important piece in the puzzle” of history. (source)
A silver treasure from the 12th century has been found on the Baltic island Gotland, where over 600 pieces of silver coins have been unearthed, according to reports in local media.
“This is an amazing find. It’s unbelievable that treasures of this scale exist here on Gotland,” Marie Louise Hellquist of Gotland’s County Administrative Board (Länsstyrelsen) told local newspaper Hela Gotland.
The medieval treasure was uncovered last Monday, as the landowner was moving soil. Some 500 pieces of coin were discovered in the field, and following further searches conducted once archaeologists arrived on Wednesday, that figure has swollen considerably.
“In total we’ve reached 650 pieces, so far,” Hellquist said. Read more.
Scientists have used a new x-ray technique to produce spectacular 3D images of Roman coins that were corroded inside pots or blocks of soil.
The rotating images built up from thousands of two-dimensional scans are so clear that individual coins can be identified and dated, without a single battered denarius – the Roman currency – being visible to the naked eye. The advantage of the new method – developed by a unique collaboration between archaeologists and scientists at the British Museum and Southampton University – is that it means coins can be identified and even dated much more quickly and without risking damage to them.
Roger Bland, a coins expert who is also head of the Portable Antiquities and Treasure schemes for reporting archaeological finds, based at the British Museum, said: “The initial results are very encouraging and in some cases remarkable. The techniques could have profound implications for the way we assess and study finds in the future, producing results in a few hours that would take a conservator weeks or even months.” Read more.
Unearthing the Bitterley Hoard represented a moment of ‘pure joy and excitement’ for Shropshire antiquities expert Peter Reavill.
Mr Reavill was alerted to a farmer’s field in Bitterley by retired engineer Howard Murphy, 66, of Ludlow, after he had found a silver coin. Remarkably, Mr Murphy resisted the temptation to unearth a pot stuffed with silver and gold coins, deciding to leave it to the experts.
Mr Reavill said: “I can’t speak highly enough of Mr Murphy. He did exactly the right thing. Instead of trying to unearth the pot of coins, he left them in the ground.
“That meant the site was left intact so that archaeologists could do their work. It helped because we were able to recover the pot without any significant damage.
“We were also able to examine the site to see whether there were more clues as to who left the coins there – and why. Read more.
Two metal detector enthusiasts have uncovered Europe’s largest hoard of Celtic coins worth up to £10 million - after searching for more than 30 years.
Determined Reg Mead and Richard Miles spent decades searching a field in Jersey after hearing rumours that a farmer had discovered silver coins while working on his land.
They eventually struck gold and uncovered between 30,000 and 50,000 coins, which date from the 1st Century BC and have lain buried for 2,000 years.
The Celtic silver and gold coins were entombed under a hedge in a large mound of clay, weighing three quarters of a ton and measuring 140 x 80 x 20cm.
Neil Mahrer, Conservator for Jersey Heritage Museum who helped to excavate the hoard, has labelled the discovery as the biggest of its kind.
He said: “This is the biggest Celtic coin hoard ever found which is tremendously exciting.” Read more.
Bulgarian archaeologists have discovered a treasure of bronze coins during excavations in the Black Sea resort town of Sozopol.
The treasure was found hidden in a small jar, and consists of 225 Ancient Greek bronze coins, explained the leader of the archaeological team, Prof. Krastina Panayotova, as cited by the Focus news agency.
The coins are well-preserved, and were minted in Sozopol in the 4th century; they were found during excavations of a necropolis in the Budzhaka area close to the Black Sea town, she explained.
“They were not found in a grave, they are not part of a funeral, this is a treasure, a “classical” case of buried treasure. Read more.