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Some Farmer in Switzerland Dug Up a Molehill and Found 1,700-Year-Old Buried Treasure

Over 4,000 bronze and silver coins were buried around the year 294 and never discovered until 2015.

by River Donaghey
Nov 20 2015, 6:23pm

Not an actual photo of the Swiss treasure but, you know, something close to this. Photo via Flickr user leigh49137

Read: A Famous Florida Treasure Hunter Was Busted After a Two-Year Manhunt

A farmer in the Swiss town of Ueken saw something glinting out of a molehill on his cherry orchard and wound up unearthing "more than 4,000 bronze and silver coins dating back to ancient Rome," the Guardian reports.

The coins, which were minted between the reigns of Roman Emperors Aurelian and Maximian, were buried around the year 294 and never exhumed until the farmer stumbled across them in 2015. "The orchard where the coins were found was never built on. It is land that has always been farmed," archaeologist Georg Matter told the Guardian.

After unearthing a few of the coins inside the molehill, the Swiss farmer called in an archeological service, who then spent months systematically combing the cherry orchard's soil for treasure. In total, 4,166 coins were discovered, making it "one of the biggest treasures of this kind" in Switzerland's history.

The coins, which are estimated to have been worth a year or two's salary when they were buried, were most likely chosen because they were partially silver.

"Their silver content would have guaranteed a certain value conservation in a time of economic uncertainty," a currency expert told Swiss Info.

The now-priceless artifacts will be put on display at Switzerland's Vindonissa Museum, since the discovery belongs to the state, according to Swiss law. Hopefully the farmer gets a kickback for finding all the coins, though, since his cherry orchard is probably wrecked after those archaeologists had their way with it.