In early February 2020, a small church was scheduled for remodeling. The church, located in the Eastern Slovakian village of Obišovce, was built during the Rennaisance then rebuilt in the mid 20th century after WWII (Archaeologists). More than 70 years later, the church needed updating.
Renovations began, but the discovery of long-lost foundations during the first stages of the project prompted a call to an archaeology firm. The firm arrived and shortly thereafter discovered a small treasure.
The prize was stowed beneath a loose stone slab near a West entrance, inside a large ceramic mug. The mug was sitting upright and undisturbed, with a large rock placed on top of it.
Inside the mug, archaeologists found more than 500 coins indicating that the treasure was buried sometime after 1702. Many of the coins were payday coins minted by independent mines. Instead of paying miners in currency, the mining company would issue salary plates. The salary plates looked and were treated the same way as currency, but existed outside of a national banking system.
The accepted theory about the cache is that a priest hid the coins during the period of unrest following the Thӧkӧly uprising. In the late 1670s, a Hungarian noble rose up against King Leopold I and demanded the freedom to construct docking piers for commercial use and Lutheran churches (Gauthier). The Parliament, in 1681, permitted the building of two piers per county and allowed for the construction of Lutheran churches in the same counties.
Despite these new laws, change was slow coming. Unrest fueled by religious intolerance ravaged the villages. In 1705, the Obišovce village church was ransacked. The blind priest returned to his home country and the Catholic Church abandoned the site for three years. Thus the coins were lost.
Either our elderly priest forgot, or was unable to tell the church about the treasure. In addition to the salary plates, the cache included a few silver pieces and some Polish coinage. These items indicate that pilgrims visited this church carrying donations from near and far.
Until next time, keep your eye out for buried treasure; you never know what you might find.
Subscribe so you never miss a post!
—. “Archaeologists unearth treasure in Obišovce.” The Slovak Spectator. The Rock.
Gauthier, A.J. Aristokratie Russlands: Earls von Oxford and Russland. p 134. Google Books.