Dozens of 16th century coins found buried in Noord-Holland field

Some 90 silver coins from the period 1542-1571 found in a field in Westwoud, Noord-Holland
Some 90 silver coins from the period 1542-1571 found in a field in Westwoud, Noord-HollandPhoto: Archeologie West-Friesland

Three archeologists found almost 90 sliver coins from the period 1542 to 1571 in a field in Westwoud, Noord-Holland. Almost all the coins show the head of Spanish King Philip II, who once reigned over the Netherlands, the Westfries Museum announced on Friday, AD reports.

Along with the coins, the remains of a container was found in which they were supposedly kept, the Museum said. 

Michiel Bartels, director of Archeology West-Friesland, calls the discovery of the coins a 'five star find'. "And then it is about the number ,the rare good condition of the coins and the social and historical context", he said, accordig to the newspaper.

The Westfries Museum is also delighted. "They shed great light on the dynamic period 1570-1575, which was the starting point of the great heyday of Hoorn and Enkhuizen", Ad Geerdink, director of the museum, said. 

That was a very busy period, according to Geerdink. There were religious tensions, the Beggars resistance, looting, arson, Spanish taxation and punitive expeditions. "In those circumstances, it is quite understandable that a poor farmer in Westwoud one day decided to put his capital in a pot and bury it for better times." 

Two of the three archeologists agreed to loan their coins to the Westfries Museum for two years. The third wanted to auction his, but the museum was able to purchase his 38 coins from him.

The coins will be on display at the Westfries Museum from Saturday.

Other archeologists digging in Tiel, Gelderland also made a special discovery. They found a number of Roman artifacts, including a statue of Jupiter, a grave stone, a pot for ointment and some 2,500 bronze objects, NOS reports.