By Everett Millman – Gainesville Coins ……
One of the many fascinating aspects of coins from Ancient Rome is that they are found over a very large geographical area. You’ll find them scattered across Europe, Britain, and North Africa in addition to Rome proper. This is evidence of the great territorial expanse of the Roman Empire and how far Roman coins traveled in the course of commerce and trade.
A modest hoard of these ancient coins was recently discovered, for instance, by a pair of hobbyist brothers hundreds of miles north of the Italian peninsula.
Turn Of The Millennium
Over 100 coins dating to the first and second centuries C.E. were discovered in the modern-day Belgian town of Berlicum in the province of Vlaanderen.
Berlicum itself dates back to the early medieval period.
According to press reports in the Netherlands from the end of November, included were four silver denarii and in excess of a hundred Roman bronze coins called sestertii.
The men who found the coins with metal detectors, Wim and Nico van Schaijk, are brothers who started combing the area about a year ago. Like many finds made by metal detector enthusiasts, the area was also the site of previous archaeological digs.
Window Into History
A fairly wide time period separates some of the coins in the hoard. Some are old enough to have been minted under the emperor Vespasian around 70 C.E., while others in the group date to the time of Marcus Aurelius more than a century later.
Not unlike the huge breadth of Imperial Rome’s borders, the empire’s lifespan also spread across many centuries of Western history.
The coins have been studied for the past year by scholars at the Netherlands Cultural Heritage Agency.
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