Trove of ancient silver coins found in Poland may have been part of a bribe to keep Viking invaders from sacking Paris more than 1,200 years ago


  • Some 118 ancient silver coins found in a forest in north-eastern Poland
  • Coins were minted during the Carolingian Empire, which united Western and Central Europe in the 9th century.
  • Experts believe they may have been part of a payment to the Vikings to spare the Carolingian capital of Paris.
  • Similar coins were found 60 miles away in the Norse town of Truso.

A trove of 118 silver coins was unearthed in a forest in northeastern Poland in March, which experts believe may be part of an ancient bribe.

The coins, minted in the 9th century during the Carolingian Empire, are the largest number of their kind ever found in Poland.

Experts believe that the billboards may have been part of a bribe to save Paris from being sacked by the Vikings a thousand years ago.

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In March, more than 100 silver coins belonging to the Carolingian Empire were found in a forest in northeastern Poland. More than 1,200-year-old coins may have been part of a bribe to stop the Vikings from sacking Paris

In November 2020, metal detector enthusiasts uncovered a handful of silver coins, or Roman-style coins, in a field near Biscupiec, a town in northeastern Poland about 120 miles from Warsaw.

He informed researchers at the nearby Museum Ostroda, and in March 2021, archaeologists returned to the field to investigate.

They uncovered a total of 118 coins—one of which was for the reign of the Carolingian emperor Louis the Pius, who ruled from 814 to 840 AD.

The remaining silver pieces were minted during the brief reign of his son, Charles the Bald, who ruled from 875 to 877.

According to experts, Carolingian wealth is extremely rare to be found in northeastern Poland, which was beyond the borders of the empire.

According to experts, Carolingian wealth is extremely rare to be found in northeastern Poland, which was beyond the borders of the empire.

Along with crosses and Latin inscriptions, all had the distinctive markings of the Carolingian dynasty.

The Frankish leader, Charlemagne, founded the Carolingian Empire in AD 800, and during the Early Middle Ages, he and his descendants united Western and Central Europe after the fall of Rome.

But it is extremely unusual to find Carolingian species in Poland, as the region was far beyond the borders of the empire.

Only three Carolingian coins have been unearthed in northern Poland, at an archaeological site in Truso, about 60 miles west of Biscupik.

Researchers believe the coins came from Truso, a Norse trading post from where the coins were found about 60 miles away.

Researchers believe the coins came from Truso, a Norse trading post from where the coins were found about 60 miles away.

Researchers believe this newfound hoard also came from Truso, which was a Norse trading center in the 800s.

They believe that the money was part of a massive bribe given by Charles the Bald to prevent the Norse from attacking Paris, the capital of the Carolingian Empire.

Mateusz Boguki, an archaeologist and numismatics from the University of Warsaw, told live science That it is too soon to know for sure, but some coins can be traced back to Paris.

It is also possible that coins were left as 'drops' in uninhabited areas, so that the Vikings could pick up from Trusso.

It is also possible that coins were left as ‘drops’ in uninhabited areas, so that the Vikings could pick up from Trusso.

“If a large number of coins can be attributed to Paris, then yes, it is possible,” Bogucci told the news outlet.

If the coins were not used to purchase the Vikings, their presence is a mystery: at that time Biscupec was uninhabited and Prussian tribes in the region used Arab coins.

Bogucci told Live Science that Charles the Bald paid the Vikings 7,000 liver, or more than five tons of silver and gold, so that they would not sack Paris, and it is possible that the coins found at Biscupique were part of that ransom. Were.

Leading archaeologist Lukasz Szczepenski explained, “The functioning of the settlement at Truso and the associated activity of the Vikings is currently the most reliable clue as to how the treasure reached the territory of ancient Prussia.” science in poland.

The Carolingian king Charles the Bald (pictured) paid the Vikings 7,000 levers, or more than five tons of silver and gold, for not sacking Paris in the 9th century.

The Carolingian king Charles the Bald (pictured) paid the Vikings 7,000 levers, or more than five tons of silver and gold, for not sacking Paris in the 9th century.

“In the 9th century, we see a clear increase in the threat posed by the Vikings participating in the invasions of Western Europe,” said Szepensky.

He stated that the Siege of Paris in 845 was the culmination of the Viking invasion of West Francia.

According to science in Poland, the treasure was found in the Drka river basin, Which leads to the mouth of the Vistula River, where Truso is located.

It is possible that the location was a drop site intended to be hoarding for the invaders, but for whatever reason the deal was never closed.

While the coins are clearly Carolingian, there is little to show where they were minted.

Bogucci hopes to learn more about their origins by studying the shape of the letters in their Latin inscriptions and other features.

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