Unburying The Past

Roman soldiers would frequently bury their coins before they went off to war.  Many never returned  or couldn’t remember where their 0% interest bank was.  People with metal detectors find these stashes after 2,000 years of oxidation and sell them on E-Bay.

I bought a stash of these from Croatia, and am finding some gems down underneath all the dirt and rust.

One common design on the tail side, was very similar to that on the back of the 1959 British threepence.

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10 Responses to Unburying The Past

  1. Timo Soren says:

    What fun.

  2. Phil. says:

    The threepence has a portcullis whereas the other coin looks like a tower.

  3. misanthropicMarc says:

    I was a coin geek, when I was a kid. Cheers, Tony.

  4. gregole says:

    That’s cool!

    Have any idea what the material is…maybe bronze?

  5. Mr GrimNasty says:

    One was originally the badge of Henry VII, the other is a Roman castle camp-gate with two turrets (Constantine I the Great 307-337 AD Bronze follis – says Google).

    So purely coincidental.

    In 50 years time UK coins will have an Islamic Mosque instead of the Portcullis, and still look similar.

  6. Griff says:

    I’m pleased you are enjoying these – but the threepence is showing a portcullis, something not invented in Roman times, afaik, – the design is surely a city gateway on the roman coin?

  7. Robertv says:


    And the gold and silver coins have not lost their monetary worth.

  8. EternalOptimist says:

    yes. the threepenny bit has a portcullis, which was a metal trellised gate that was opened vertically. Usually on the other end of a drawbridge.

    from a military point of view, both combined were deadly. If you saw danger, gravity would close the gate in a second. You could shoot through the gate at people you didn’t like.

    Once you were holed up, the gate could be opened slowly, then the drawbridge dropped in a second so your fast attackers could rush out and do the dirty on people you didn’t like.

    The roman coin looks like a legionary fort to me, as opposed to a population centre. roman settlements had stone walls, that looks more like a wooden pre-fab. probably wooden or wicker panels

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