17th Century Treasure Discovered at Road Construction Site

Members of the “Jaćwież” Historical and Exploration Association have discovered over 500 coins dating from the 17th century at a construction site in Ełk, Poland.

The discovery was made by researchers who were using metal detectors to survey the removed soil during the resurfacing of a road.

- Advertisement -

They found a total of 507 silver coins that date from the first half of the 17th century and originate from various European countries. Local reports state that there are Polish, Swedish, Dutch, Scottish and Danish coins of various denominations.

Some of the identified coins depict Fryderyk Wilhelm, Charles X Gustav, Jan Kazimierz, Leopold II, Georg Wilhelm, Christian IV (Denmark), Charles II (Scotland) and Sigismund III.

The coins were hidden sometime after 1652, as identified by the most recent date on one of the coins. The researchers suppose that the coins may have been buried by a local merchant or innkeeper, or possibly a soldier in a clay pot for safekeeping.

At the time, Ełk was located within the boundaries of the Duchy of Prussia and was located on a major trade route connecting Mazovia (a historical region in mid-north-eastern Poland) with Königsberg (the historic Prussian name for modern-day Kaliningrad, Russia).

- Advertisement -

The coins are to be presented to the Historical Museum in Ełk for conservation and further identification before being put on public display.

Header Image Credit : “Jaćwież” Historical and Exploration Association

- Advertisement -
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is multi-award-winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 7,500 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education, the BCA Medal of Honour, and the UK Prime Minister's Points of Light Award.

Mobile Application


Related Articles

Stone box containing rare ceremonial offerings discovered at Tlatelolco

Archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) have discovered a stone box containing ceremonial offerings during excavations of Temple "I", also known as the Great Basement, at the Tlatelolco archaeological zone.

Excavation uncovers traces of the first bishop’s palace at Merseburg Cathedral Hill

Archaeologists from the State Office for Monument Preservation and Archaeology (LDA) Saxony-Anhalt have uncovered traces of the first bishop’s palace at the southern end of the Merseburg Cathedral Hill in Merseburg, Germany.

BU archaeologists uncover Iron Age victim of human sacrifice

Archaeologists from Bournemouth University have uncovered an Iron Age victim of human sacrifice in Dorset, England.

Archaeologists find ancient papyri with correspondence made by Roman centurions

Archaeologists from the University of Wrocław have uncovered ancient papyri that contains the correspondence of Roman centurions who were stationed in Egypt.

Study indicates that Firth promontory could be an ancient crannog

A study by students from the University of the Highlands and Islands has revealed that a promontory in the Loch of Wasdale in Firth, Orkney, could be the remains of an ancient crannog.

Archaeologists identify the original sarcophagus of Ramesses II

Archaeologists from Sorbonne University have identified the original sarcophagus of Ramesses II, otherwise known as Ramesses the Great.

Archaeologists find missing head of Deva from the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom

Archaeologists from Cambodia’s national heritage authority (APSARA) have discovered the long-lost missing head of a Deva statue from the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom.

Archaeologists search crash site of WWII B-17 for lost pilot

Archaeologists from Cotswold Archaeology are excavating the crash site of a WWII B-17 Flying Fortress in an English woodland.