Swiss Farmer Finds Thousands Of Ancient Coins In Orchard

Screenshot via CNN

In our opinion, being a cherry farmer means you find treasure all the time—in the form of cherries, which are nature's treasure because they are delicious. (Look, there are only so many ways you can begin some stories.) But one cherry farmer in Switzerland has found literal treasure, in the form of ancient coins—one of the biggest discoveries of its kind ever.

The farmer, whose name has not been released to the media, owns a cherry orchard in Ueken, a small town in the far north of Switzerland. Within a new molehill he noticed a bit of curiously shiny green metal coins, but of a denomination he’d never seen before. Realizing the coins were extremely old, he called in an official archaeological service to finish the excavation he, and the also unnamed mole that lives in his orchard, started.

So far, 4,166 coins have been retrieved, all dating from the Roman empire, between 274 AD and around 305 AD. The dates and insignias are remarkably intact, so it’s been not very much trouble to figure out their exact provenance.

The coins, which are made of bronze alloys with a very high silver content, would have been a substantial cache for whoever had them, and the archaeologists involved have a few theories about why they ended up grouped together far from any city. The owner could have died, they suggest, or simply been unable to find his stash.

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Thanks to Swiss antiquities laws, the farmer won’t actually be able to keep the coins; they’ll end up in the nearby Vindonissa de Brugg Museum. But he will receive a finder’s fee of some sort. And he still has his cherries.

Swiss Farmer Finds Thousands Of Ancient Coins In Orchard