Archive for November 17th, 2008

Ancient Celtic coin cache found in Netherlands

Monday, November 17th, 2008

Man, those Celts really got around: Ireland, Scotland, England, France, Spain, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands.

Caches of Celtic coin have been found in Germany and Belgium before, and now in the Netherlands.

Archaeologists say the trove of 39 gold and 70 silver coins was minted in the middle of the first century B.C. as the future Roman ruler Julius Caesar led a campaign against Celtic tribes in the area.[…]

Nico Roymans, the archaeologist who led the academic investigation of the find, believes the gold coins in the cache were minted by a tribe called the Eburones that Caesar claimed to have wiped out in 53 B.C. after they conspired with other groups in an attack that killed 6,000 Roman soldiers.

The Eburones “put up strong resistance to Caesar’s journeys of conquest,” Roymans said.

The silver coins were made by tribes further to the north — possible evidence of cooperation against Caesar, he said.

The dating is notable not only because of the (tenuous) link to Caesar, but because by early in the first century A.D., the Celts had been chased off the European mainland by the growing Roman Empire and Germanic migrations. So this first century B.C. cache is sort of a last hurrah for continental Celts.

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