Brothers find over 100 Roman coins in Brabant town

Over 100 Roman coins dating from the first and second century AD found near Berlicum in the winter of 2017
Over 100 Roman coins dating from the first and second century AD found near Berlicum in the winter of 2017. (Photo: Portable Antiquities of the Netherlands, PAN)

Two brothers found over a hundred Roman coins near the Noord-Brabant town of Berlicum. These silver and bronze coins date from the first and second century AD, the Netherlands Cultural Heritage Agency announced after conducting a long-term study into the background of the coins.

Brothers Wim and Nico van Schaijk found the coins with a metal detector a year ago in the vicinity of the Aa near Berlicum, which falls under the the municipality of Sint-Michielsgestel. They found four silver denarri and 103 mainly bronze sestertii and asses. Expert Liesbeth Claes from Leiden University determined that the coins were minted between the reign of Emperor Vespasian in 69 AD and that of Emperor Marcus Aurelius in 180 AD.

It is clear that the coins were in a wet environment for a long time. Due to the distribution of the coins and the relatively large time period of their origin, it seems unlikely that they were buried at once. The researchers believe that the ancient Romans may have thrown coins into the water before crossing the river, as a sort of sacrifice for a safe crossing - or perhaps as thanks after a safe crossing. 

Roman pottery was also found during further research in the area where the coins were discovered. The coins are still being investigated. 

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