A 1800 years old roman coin was found by an 8-year-old boy named Bjarne who was playing within the sandbox at his elementary school in Bremen, Germany. While he was playing, he stumbled upon a remarkable find: an ancient silver denarius, a Roman coin dating back 1,800 years. Although Bjarne, now 9, made this discovery last year, authorities officially announced it at a press event on August 11.
1800 Years Old Roman Coin:
Uta Halle, the Bremen state archaeologist, expressed gratitude for Bjarne’s careful handling of the discovery, stating, “We are glad that Bjarne was so careful. [The discovery is] very special because there have only been two comparable coin finds from the Roman Empire in the city of Bremen.”
Despite much of present-day Germany being within the Roman Empire’s borders at one point, Bremen was an exception, making the Roman coin exceptionally rare and intriguing. Experts cannot definitively determine how the coin ended up in Bremen, but they have proposed several theories. The History Blog notes, “Any Roman coins that made their way that far north likely reached the area via barter, washed up in the River Weser, or as a souvenir carried by an auxiliary or other world traveler.”
Weighing in at 0.08 ounces (2.4 grams), the denarius is relatively light. This is attributed to the coin’s minting during a period characterized by currency devaluation due to inflation, which resulted in a reduction in the silver content, as explained by Halle in her statement.
When Bjarne initially uncovered the artifact, he was unaware of its historical significance but was understandably excited. According to the History Blog, it was “round and shiny,” prompting him to take it home. His family subsequently shared photos of the coin with experts who, after an extensive examination, were able to date it to the reign of Marcus Aurelius, who ruled from 161-180 C.E. (Marcus Aurelius is renowned today for his “Meditations,” a collection of Stoic writings.)
During the recent press event, officials commended Bjarne for his “alertness and curiosity” and presented him with two archaeology books. Nevertheless, Bjarne will not be permitted to retain his discovery, as such artifacts are legally deemed government property. Uta Halle hopes the coin will be put on public display at Bremen’s Focke Museum, where she oversees the prehistory and early history department, noting that “such a coin has not been seen there.”
Bjarne, for his part, has expressed no objections to parting with the artifact.