Rare coin treasure troves headed for Czech museum

Two rare treasures have been discovered by chance this year in South Bohemia. One of them, consisting of hundreds of silver coins from the 11th century, has now gone on display at the Museum of Prácheň in Písek.

Photo: CTKPhoto: CTK A vessel full of silver coins was discovered in the spring of this year in a forest near the village of Řeteč in the Písek region, by a woman who was walking her dog. Ondřej Chvojka, archaeologist of the South Bohemian Museum in České Budějovice told Czech Television that the disovery was very unique:

“Both of the finds, especially the one from the village of Reteč, are very unique. This was an era when the first coins, the dinars, came into use.

“At that time, South Bohemia, was not very intensively settled. So we still don’t have much information about the society of that time, of their roads, settlements, and so on.”

According to experts, the forest used to be the site of a fortified settlement belonging to the Premyslids.

The coins probably belonged to someone from the duke’s court or even the duke himself.

Half of the coins date back to the rule of Spytihněv II, while the rest to the era of his father, Břetislav I.

Archaeologists believe the coins were buried in the ground at around the year 1061. Because they were made of very pure silver, they have been preserved in excellent condition. They will later be classified according to their stamping.

The other find was excavated in the village of Kučeř by a man who was digging on his plot. This is how he described the moments after the discovery to Czech Television:

Photo: CTKPhoto: CTK “Suddenly I saw green coins scattered on the ground. It was a beautiful feeling and my knees just started to shake. Something like this is never going to happen again.”

The treasure consists of coins from the 15th century with domestic, but also Austrian and Saxony stampings. Due to a large amount of copper, most of them corroded over the centuries of being hidden under ground and got stuck together, archaeologist Tomáš Hiltscher explained to the Czech Television.

“The treasure is now being processed by our restorers’ workshop, where they are trying to get rid of the corrosion. The biggest problem is that most of the coins were stuck together and we might not even be able to separate them and determine their exact number.”

After the coins are restored, they will also be displayed in the Museum of Prácheň. Meanwhile, both chance finders of the treasures are still waiting to receive their reward. According to the current legislation, only those who discover a treasure by chance are entitled to receive any kind of remuneration from the state.