Archaeologists Have Unearthed 40 Extremely Rare Celtic Coins In Slovakia

Archaeologists Have Unearthed 40 Extremely Rare Celtic Coins In Slovakia
Handout / Getty Images

In the heart of Slovakia in Mošovce, archaeologists have unearthed 40 extremely rare silver Celtic coins. Out of the money system that the Celts created, the coins known as tetradrachms were by far the most precious to them, and these are what have been discovered near Turčianske Teplice.

As the Slovak Spectator reports, Karol Pieta, who is the deputy of director from Archaeological Institute of Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAV) in Nitra, explained that tetradrachms would have been worth four times what other Celtic coins were valued at, making them highly prized at the time.

“The Celts had highly-developed coin system. Tetradrachms have four times the higher value of other nominals.”

In terms of sheer weight, tetradrachms weigh around 10 grams, which would be the equivalent of stuffing each of the coins that were found with four drachms, with drachms being the smallest coins that were available at this time in history.

It is believed that the Celtic coins would have begun their life as silver mined in Slovak as the Celts who lived in this region are thought to have had the economic power that they did due to the unusually high amount of silver, gold and iron that they had at their disposal.

Archaeologists were extremely lucky to have discovered the Celtic coins in Slovakia as there are numerous raiders who profit by using metal detectors to discover objects like these that they can then sell for a hefty profit. However, Pieta was quick to point out that archaeologists do not operate this way and aren’t interested in seeking out the most expensive objects in the vicinity.

“An archaeologist does not find only precious and expensive objects, he or she looks for a connection and thanks to detail work in terrain, he or she may interpret the finding further.”

With regard to raiders, Matej Ruttkay, the director of Archaeological Institute of SAV in Nitra, has stated, “We have to make a maximum effort to overtake raiders because everywhere we research we find tracks after people who were there before us.”

The silver Celtic coins were found by archaeologists on an extremely steep slope and it is thanks to erosion of the soil in this area that they were still scattered where they had been left and tucked snugly away in the soil that had entombed them for so long. To make certain that Celts held onto their fortune, after 1 AD it would have been commonplace for them to have hidden their money in soil like this when battles took place.

Out of all the coins that were minted in Slovakia, Celtic coins, like the 40 silver ones that were recently discovered, are the most ancient.