Where’s the rainbow? Workers find pot of gold from 15th century

Photo: Valkhof Museum Nijmegen

Water company workers have stumbled on a hoard of hundreds of centuries-old gold and silver coins, broadcaster NOS reported on Thursday.

The workers were laying pipes at a building site between Vianen and Hagestein in the province of Utrecht when they found a glazed earthenware cooking pot containing 500 coins which archaeologists think date from the 15th century.

Twelve of the coins were found to be solid gold, the rest are silver. According to archaeologist Peter de Boer,  the time frame for the coins is the late 15th century when parts of what is now the Netherlands and Belgium were ruled by the Burgundian dukes. The coins were probably used for trading purposes.

The hoard may shed some light on the developments in the medieval town of Hagestein after its destruction in 1405. ‘We now have a pot full of stories. That makes archaeologists very, very happy,’ De Boer told NOS.

The pot also contains some remnants of textile, probably the cloth that once held the rolls of coins.

The owners of the hoard are the water company, the project developer and the owners of the piece of land where the hoard was found. As soon as the archaeologists have investigated them and the coins have been valued, the joint owners will decide what is to be done with them, NOS said.

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