Ongoing excavations at a rural spot near the village of Újlengyel in central Hungary recently struck gold, both figuratively and literally. Archaeologists Using metal detectors found a buried treasure of approximately seven thousand silver and four medieval gold coins in Hungary, hidden centuries ago by unknown individuals. This is the largest collection of old coins ever unearthed in Pest County, which surrounds Hungary’s capital city of Budapest Ferenczy Museum Centre said on Monday.

The discovery is the largest value hoard of coins from the late Middle Ages ever found in Pest County, they said in a statement.

The earliest of the coins dates back to the second century, a Silver Denarius of Lucius Verus, co-emperor of the Roman Empire, from 161-169. (Hungary was a part of the Empire at that time), while the youngest was issued during the kingdom of Louis II, who ruled Hungary from 1516 to 1526. Based on the latter finding, the  archaeologists concluded that the coins must have been buried either during Louis II’s reign or shortly thereafter.

Most of the coins are commonly issued types and are around in relative abundance even today. But one of the coins is extremely rare and valuable. That is a Vatican-issued denarius from the reign of Pope Pius, who served from 1458 to 1564.

The vessel that contained the coins was found buried less than one-meter-deep (3.28 ft) in a farmer’s field. At some point, the vessel had been broken open by the blade of a plough, causing the coins to spill out into the surrounding earth. But the coins remained hidden below the surface of the ground, where they stayed out of sight until the discovery was made.

The two-day excavation was led by Balázs Nagy from the museum and aided by volunteers from the Community Archaeology Association. The dig was prompted by the discovery of 150 medieval coins at the site in 2019, the statement said.

Photos via Ferenczy Museum Centre’s Facebook page

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