Author Topic: Serdica mint building found in Sofia, Bulgaria  (Read 74 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Pellinore

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1 137
    • Some numismatic books for sale on our website
Serdica mint building found in Sofia, Bulgaria
« on: June 13, 2019, 09:13:48 AM »
Came across this only now, a few years after the discovery, when researching a Serdica coin. Now named Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, Serdica minted Roman Provincial coins in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, and starting with Aurelian's antoniniani also Roman Imperial coins.

During excavations in the centre of Sofia, a large Roman building was unexpectedly found. A number of metal devices came to light.

And in or near the building archaeologists found a jar containing 2974 silver and 5 bronze coins (next to a clay lamp). A name was scribbled on it, SELVIUS CALISTUS, and the excavators think this is doubtless the name of the owner (naturally, one may have serious considerations against this assumption). The hoard has a remarkable composition with coins from Vespasian to Commodus (but I saw Pertinax mentioned elsewhere) comprising all the emperors and all the empresses and daughters. Of Domitian, there were 111 coins present - but all different types! We think, no, we are almost sure, here at World of Coins: this is a coin collector's treasure.
I never doubted there must have been collectors of coins since the dawn of minting. It is said the Emperor August collected coins. Well, we can add the name of Selvius Callistus in this list with no lesser probability. And this then would be the first coin collection that has come to us.

The leading Bulgarian excavators think they might have found the mint and suppose the coins might have been meant for melting. However, there is doubt (article in German), and it is stressed that the devices must be studied before accepting it was a mint building.

Pictures from the Bulgarian archaeology website. Apparently, the big glass bowl with liquid shows coins being cleaned. The woman and man in the picture are the mayor and deputy mayor of Sofia.

-- Paul


Offline chrisild

  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8 374
  • NW · DE · EU
Re: Serdica mint building found in Sofia, Bulgaria
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2019, 01:21:24 PM »
Interesting story! And yes, I agree - it would be great if some "minting tools" could be found there too. Ah well, they can continue digging. :)  By the way, many MünzenWoche articles are also available in English (sister site CoinsWeekly), sometimes right away, sometimes a little later. In this case, the English version is here ...

Christian

Offline Figleaf

  • Administrator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 28 626
Re: Serdica mint building found in Sofia, Bulgaria
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2019, 05:11:49 PM »
Amazing. Does it really take a coin collector to point out that it is not normal for all the coins in a hoard to be of a different type?

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Pellinore

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1 137
    • Some numismatic books for sale on our website
Re: Serdica mint building found in Sofia, Bulgaria
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2019, 06:12:32 PM »
By the way, the coin collector might well have been an official of the mint himself. I can envisage him poring over his sparkling treasure by the flickering oil lamp.

— Paul