Is this Polish Treasure a Viking Bribe?

In Northeast Poland, in the town of Biskupiec, a horde of Frank silver Denier was discovered by amateur treasure hunters with metal detectors. The treasure included 118 silver coins minted about 1,200 years ago during the Carolingian era (Avery).

Of the coins, all but one were minted under Emperor Louis the Pious. The odd coin out was minted by his son, Charles the Bald. This dates the horde to some time after 876c.e.

The current theory surrounding this discovery revolves around the Vikings who sacked Paris in 845c.e. The horde may have been intended as part of the ransom paid for the city of Paris. Then, as now, hostage negotiations took place between heads of state. This silver cache might have been amassed by Charles the Bald to pay the Vikings to leave Paris.

Carolingian, Viking, Treasure, Poland, Frank, Gaul, French, Denier, Louis the Pious, Charles the Bald

This amount of silver would not be enough on its own, but historians believe that this sum was intended to go with other treasures from all over the empire so Charles the Bald could buy back the Carolingian Capital city that his grandfather lost.

Perhaps most interesting tidbit is the location of the treasure. Archeologists note that the area where the treasure was discovered was not inhabited at the time the treasure was buried. The treasure seems to have been buried deep in the forest, away from any settlement or cemetery (Ostróda). Which begs the questions: Who buried it? Why didn’t they come back for it?

The Museum of Ostróda is currently in charge of the dig site and the treasure. They have an impressive selection of treasure coins discovered across all of Poland. Some are silver, and others are gold. You can examine these collections in this YouTube video:

Thank you for joining us today! We hope you enjoyed reading this tale of treasure lost and found as much as we enjoyed writing it. You can count on interesting treasure stories, quick and easy How-To posts, and more numismatic joys here on Pendant and Ring. Subscribe so you never miss a post:

See you next time on Pendant and Ring!

Sources:
Avery, Dan. Daily Mail UK.
Staff. TVP3.
Rybacki, Darek. YouTube.

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