Major Coin Find in Hungary: 7,000 Roman to Renaissance Coins

Photo: Ferenczy Muzeumi Centrum, Hungary.
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In mid-January, Archaeologists of the Ferenczy Múzeumi Centrum unearthed an important hoard in a field in the central Hungarian region of Pest. The excavation was specifically carried out there because coins had already been found in the immediate vicinity in 2019.

Only four of the pieces were gold coins. Photo: Ferenczy Muzeumi Centrum, Hungary.

The find consists of a broken clay vessel, in which about 7,000 silver coins of different periods were buried. The earliest coin of the hoard features the Roman Emperor Lucius Verus, it dates from around AD 160. In addition, there are Hungarian coins from the 15th and early 16th century and individual European coins from the same period, for example a denarius of Pope Pius II from around 1460. Besides the 7,000 silver coins, the hoard also contains four Hungarian gold coins minted in the late 15th century.

The most recent coins are of King Louis II, who ruled over Hungary, Bohemia and Croatia from 1516 to 1526 as the last king of the Jagiellonian dynasty. The death of this king is linked to the archaeologists’ hypothesis as to why the treasure was buried.

Belligerent Times

Based on the most recent coin, the archaeologists assume that the treasure was buried in the 1520s. At that time, the Ottoman Empire was advancing steadily in the Balkans towards Central Europe. In 1526, the great Battle of Mohács took place, in which Hungary was clearly defeated by the Ottomans and most of Hungary conquered. Louis II survived the battle but drowned a short time later while fleeing – which, incidentally, resulted in the long run in the Habsburgs assuming the Hungarian crown and the rule over Bohemia.

The archaeologists suspect that the coins were buried so that the approaching Ottoman troops would not get their hands on it. So far, speculations about the reason for the unusual composition have not been made.


Read more about this dramatic period in our article “The Turks at the gates of Vienna”.

Here you can access the website of the Ferenczy Múzeumi Centrum.

Last November we reported on an extensive find of Roman coins in Poland. The coins had probably been buried by Vandals fleeing from the Goths.