November 13, 2008

Ancient Celtic coin cache found in Netherlands

Celtic Stater Gold coin (late 1st century BC – early 1st century AD)

A hobbyist with a metal detector has found a cache of ancient Celtic and Germanic coins in a cornfield in the southern Dutch city of Maastricht.

The city says the trove of 39 gold and 70 silver coins are dated to the middle of the first century B.C. — around the time Julius Caesar was leading military campaigns in the region.

The hobbyist, Paul Curfs, found several coins this spring and called attention to the find, which eventually led to an archaeological investigation by Amsterdam's Free University.

Archaelogists believe the gold coins were minted by a local tribe called the Eburones that Caesar claimed to have wiped out. The silver coins were imported from Germanic tribes further north. Both have triple spirals on the front, a common Celtic symbol.- AP

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