In 2015, a Swiss farmer made an unexpected discovery in his orchard – over 4,100 coins that date back to ancient Rome. According to archaeologists, the find is over 1,700 years old. The place of the find is Ueken, a town located in the northern canton of Aargau.
The silver and bronze coins weigh 15 kilograms and are considered the largest of their kind in Switzerland. The owner of the cherry orchards noticed glistening green coins in the molehill while he was working. A few months earlier, the remains of a former Roman centre were discovered near the town of Frick. The farmer decided that the find could be a real treasure and be related to that discovery. The man reported the find, and upon arrival, scientists confirmed the uniqueness of the find.
The discovery was made in July. A total of 4,166 Roman coins were dug out with images of the emperors: Aurelian (270-275 CE), Tacitus (275-276 CE), Probus (276-282 CE), Carinus (283-285 CE), Diocletian (284-305 CE)) and Maximian (286-305 CE).
The find site was never built-up. For centuries, crops were grown in these lands. The coins were in leather pouches, indicating that the owner planned to extract his money in no time. It is worth noting that the third century CE was a period of the severe economic collapse of the Roman Empire, and some coins found had a high 5% silver content. This indicates that the man wanted to hide precious metals.
The finder, despite the discovery, will not keep the treasure. He is only entitled to a percentage of the find. Under Swiss law, unique coins belong to the general public.