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Pot of Gold Finally Found - by Construction Workers

Two construction utility workers doing excavation work to lay water pipes in Hoef and Haag, Netherlands, dug up a medieval cooking pot that contained 12 gold and 462 silver coins

March 19, 2018
Two construction utility workers dug up a medieval cooking pot that contained 12 gold and 462 silver coins

Two construction utility workers doing excavation work to lay water pipes in Hoef and Haag, Netherlands, dug up a medieval cooking pot that contained 12 gold and 462 silver coins, thought to date back to the 1400's.

The men were doing work for Oasen NV, a water distribution utility company, which is building the water distribution network for a new village near the city of Hagestein that will eventually house 21,000 people.

When they made a narrow pipe slot with a mini-excavator last August, they dug up an red glazed earthenware cooking pot filled with gold and silver coins from the fifteenth century. "It literally and figuratively rained coins," according to the company's press release posted in earlier this month

The pot seemed to have been wrapped in fabric, perhaps to protect the stash. Water must have made its way into the pot because some of the coins had stuck together in a greenish lump.

The Oasen workers showed their supervisor the pot-o'-gold, who then reported their discovery to the Landscape Heritage Utecht. The agency immediately sent a representative with a metal detector to the jobsite.

Most of the coins seem to date back to 1470 to the 1480's. They feature engravings of King Henry VI of England (who ruled from 1422 to 1461, and then again from 1470 to 1471), Bishop Utrecht David of Burgundy (served from 1456 to 1496) and Pope Paul II (appointed in 1464.) The gold Henry II is an especially rare coin.

Archaeologist Peter de Boer of the Regional Environment Agency Utrecht said, "Actually, every coin in this treasure is a precious metal cartoon. During that time every gentleman gave out his 'business card' by means of a coin, and there is a lot to discover about it. Stories about power relations, religion and a lot of symbolism."

During the time the coins would have been in circulation, the Netherlands and Belgium were ruled by the Dukes of Burgundy, well known for their extravagance. By the mid 1460's, Charles Duke of Burgundy was in power and one of the wealthiest states in Europe was almost broke.  

De Boer said this time in history was notable because it was after the famous siege of Hagestein in 1405. "A time in which we hitherto hung in the dark for the history of the destroyed city of Hagestein." 

"In this sense we have now received a 'pot full of stories' and such a random find that makes you very happy as an archaeologist."

The coins have been cleaned and will be investigated further by a De Nederlandsche Bank specialist.

Source: Oasen

 

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