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17th-Century Silver Coins Found Under Polish Church

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Poland Church CoinsBARCZEWO, POLAND—According to a report in The First News, nearly 1,000 silver coins were discovered in and around a glazed ceramic mug under the floor of the Church of St. Andrew the Apostle in Poland’s northern province of Warmia. A team led by Arkadiusz Koperkiewicz of the University of Gdańsk came upon the trove while excavating in the chancel of the church, which was built in the late fourteenth century by the Teutonic Order. Its adjoining monastery was home to Bernardine monks. Most of the coins, which are primarily lower denominations, were minted for the Polish crown and feature the portrait of King Sigismund III Vasa, who reigned from 1587 to 1632. The mug also contained Lithuanian coins and Prussian shillings struck for Prince George Wilhelm Hohenzollern, a fief of the Republic of Poland. Koperkiewicz suggests the monks hid the coins themselves during a time of prosperity in the seventeenth century, when provincial bishops awarded the monastery substantial subsidies. Marks on the coins indicate that they had been in circulation for a long time at the time they were stashed away. To read about seventeenth-century loot revealed by drought, go to "World Roundup: Poland."

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