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Rare Treasure of Byzantine Gold Discovered in Southern Russia

Rare Treasure of Byzantine Gold Discovered in Southern Russia

Wednesday, 27 November, 2019 - 09:30
Gold coins and treasure recovered from an 18th-century Spanish shipwreck off Florida | Getty Images

A mission of archeologists excavating the Krasnodar Krai province in Southern Russia announced it unearthed a treasure of gold Byzantine coins dating back to the 10th century, during which the region was known as the "Taman Peninsula."

The treasure was hidden in a ceramic pot found in the lands of an ancient residential area abandoned since the 11th century. It includes 28 metal coins made of pure gold featuring the faces of Byzantine emperors.

Scientists believe that one of those emperors had hidden the treasure at the end of the 10th century or with the beginning of the 11th century, after the emergence of the Tamutarakan princedom (a Russian entity that settled in the region with the end of the 10th century).

Although many Byzantine treasures had been discovered in different countries around the world, the new one found in the Krasnodar Krai province is of special importance in the world of archeological excavations, and the only one found in Russia.

According to the historic writings of Peter Kropotkin, "finding such treasures (in the Soviet space) is very rare." In his book "Treasures of Byzantine Coins" issued in 1962, he said Soviet archeologists found two sites full of gold Byzantine coins, but both of them vanished.

An official from the antiquities institute emphasized the historic and scientific value of the newly discovered treasure and said it will help provide further exciting information about the establishment of the Russian State, and the early campaigns led by the Grand Prince of Kiev from a historical point of view.

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