Discovery of Ancient Gold and Silver Treasure: Insights into Medieval Prosperity at the National Museum of Antiquities.

A large hoard of gold gems and silver coins has been revealed to people in general as part of another show at the National Museum of Antiquities in the Netherlands.

The hoard was discovered by a metal detectorist back in 2021 near Hoogwoud, a small city in the Dutch province of North Holland.

After the initial discovery, the finds were accounted for by the inter-municipal organization, Archeology West Friesland, which were then transferred to the National Museum of Antiquities for examination and preservation.

Metal detecting in the Netherlands requires a permit and consent from landowners. It is against the law illegal to utilize a metal detector on known historical and archeological destinations, with any finds considered “treasure” or of historical importance requiring the finder to inform local authorities.

The hoard comprises four decorated gold earring pendants in the shape of a bow moon, along with two bits of gold leaf that fit together, and 39 small silver coins from the medieval period.

Dating of the coins places them to a period between AD 1200 to AD 1250, suggesting that they were saved in the ground around the center of the thirteenth century AD.

Small bits of material found with the coins indicate that they were wrapped in a fabric or small bag. The 39 coins come from the Bishopric of Utrecht, from various districts (Holland, Guelders, and Cleves), and the German Realm. The most youthful coins were struck in AD 1247 or AD 1248 and portray William II of Holland.

The gold gems are a lot older and date from the eleventh century AD. They were probable family treasures and were handed down through generations until they were concealed during a time of contention.

At the time, the district saw a progression of wars between West Friesland and the province of Holland. “This makes the treasure find of great significance for the archeology and history of North Holland and West Friesland – and even of national and international importance,” said the National Museum of Antiquities.

The earring pendants are decorated on one side and have fragile suspension brackets, suggesting that they were probably not pierced through the ears but rather were instead worn on a hood or a headband. One of the pendants has an engraving of a man’s head encompassed by rays of sunlight, which has been interpreted as a portrait of Sol Invictus, the “Unconquered Sun.”

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