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Archaeologists hit mother lode in Bela Krajina

Črnomelj, 5 December - Archaeologists, doing a protective excavation in Bela Krajina without any major expectations, were most surprised when they hit an extremely rare find - a bronze belt bearing a golden coin from the 3rd century BC.

Ljubljana
An invaluable golden coin found at an archaeological dig in Bela Krajina.
Photo: STA

Ljubljana
Several finds from an archaeological dig in Bela Krajina.
Photo: Arheoterra

Ljubljana
An invaluable golden coin found at an archaeological dig in Bela Krajina.
Photo: Arheoterra

According to expert Peter Kos, the coin found at the Pezdirčeva Njiva site is a Celtic imitation of an Alexander the Great stater featuring goddesses Nike and Athena.

"A golden coin as such is a rare find in Slovenia. As far as I know, this is the third golden coin found at Slovenian sites, and as it seems, the oldest," Lucija Grahek of the Archaeology Institute of the Academy of Sciences and Arts told the STA.

The find is even more valuable because coins usually turn up in searches with metal detectors or in searches in riverbeds, while this one provides archaeologists with much more data.

It was found in "a closed grave, it's position on the belt is clear, and even more, some organic material has been preserved on the belt", potentially making it possible to carbon date the find.

"This will further increase [the find's] value and contribute to the progress of Slovenian and European science," Grahek added.

Archaeologists found the coin and the belt in a series of 15 graves they dug out at Pezdirčeva Njiva in Podzemelj. Most of them date from the 4th century BC, while finds such as ceramics and iron weapons indicate that some date from the 3rd century BC.

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© STA, 2018