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News: Poland
An ort of George William, duke of Prussia, from 1622. Photo Credit: M. Kurdwanowski/PAP.
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by Archaeology Newsroom

Coins hidden from the Swedes discovered in Człuchów

They were put in a cache more than 350 years ago

Archaeologists from Warsaw discovered 18 silver coins from the mid-seventeenth century at the Człuchów castle, probably hidden during the Deluge in 1657.

The coins are preserved in very good condition and they include orts of Sigismund III Vasa, John Casimir and George William, Duke of Prussia, and one 10-Kreuzer coin of the Austrian Archduke Leopold V. As Dr Michał Starski from the Institute of Archeology of the University of Warsaw, leader of the research, explained, orty were quarter-thaler coins with a diameter of 2.5-3.0 cm. They were a type of coin introduced in the early 17th century and used for foreign trade.

The trove was discovered by archaeologist Maciej Kurdwanowski inside a defensive tower of the castle which functioned until the end of the 18th century. The coins were probably hidden when the castle was sieged by Swedish troops during the Deluge, around 1655-56. Dr Starski believes that the trove could have been part of a larger collection.

The coins are rare because they date to the 17th century, said Dr Starski. At the end of the month, when the digging season is concluded, they will be brought to Warsaw for scientific processing and conservation. Then they will be returned to Człuchów for display.

The excavation project in Człuchów is financed by the local city council. The coins will be on display at an exhibition at the Regional Museum in Człuchów  until the end of September, when they will be taken to Warsaw for study and conservation.

NOTES