Rare ancient Roman coins found near Kaliningrad
The Kaliningrad Regional Historical and Arts Museum told Interfax that the discovered treasure has already been handed over to the museum.
The find consists of over 100 Roman bronze sestertii bearing the portraits of emperors from the Nerva-Antonine dynasty: from Trajan, famous for his vast conquests, to the eccentric Commodus whose accession to the throne in 180 AD marked the end of the era of "the five kind emperors."
The majority of coins were minted during the reign of Marcus Aurelius often referred to as "the philosopher on the throne." His rule is considered the golden period in the ancient historical tradition.
According to historians, this unique numismatic collection narrates the most interesting period in the history of the Roman Empire.
Sestertius designs, which served as a sort of "transmitter" of the ruler's messages to his people, were so precise and detailed that they themselves can serve as a source of information about those ancient times.
For instance, the coins handed over to the museum provide an account of both military campaigns and events in the life of the emperor's family.
Historians claim that the treasure buried in the ground is quite valuable and worth approximately one-third of the annual pay of a Roman legionnaire.
Archaeologists say that the origin of the Roman coin collection found in the Zelenogradsky district remains a mystery.
It might have been hidden by a merchant in the late 2nd - early 3rd centuries. At the time Roman sestertii were used as a medium of exchange for Baltic amber.
According to another theoy, they were offerings to local gods.
The Kaliningrad museum is planning to exhibit the collection in the very near future.