Archaeologists made a 1,600-year-old discovery at Spiš

The most precious finding is a coin from the 4th century.

(Source: TASR)

The Centre of the town Spišské Vlachy in Spiš region was settled in the 4th century. Archaeologists discovered proof that people lived in the town soon after The Migration Period.

A coin depicting the emperor Constantius II, who ruled between 337 and 361, is among the oldest findings, Spiš Korzár reported.

Archaeological research was ongoing from October 2019 to March 2020 in the extension of the Assumption of Mary church in Spišské Vlachy.

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Locals know the extension as the Old Town Hall. The research was linked with the renovation of the monument.

“We tried two probes,” said the head of the archaeological research at the Museum of Spiš Territory in Spišská Nová Ves, Mária Hudáková, as quoted by Spiš Korzár. “The first uncovered object is from the Roman era. The coin was found here. The second revealed findings connected with the construction and reconstruction of the objects.”

These included older entrances to the object, remains of the wooden floor from the second half of the 18th century and a heating device for the object, Hudáková added.

Tiny kitchen ceramics were found as well. Coins of Polish and Hungarian mintage show that space could have been used as a pub.

Trade between Spiš and Rome

The Roman coin is significant for the town. Archaeologist Matúš Hudák said there are not so many coins in the objects, which is why it is of great historical value.

The coin could have also been placed in the town hall as a building sacrifice, a practice that used to be done to protect the building.

People used to process iron here in the 4th century, said Hudák. Spiš was quite rich for this material. Iron slag was found here. The object was originally constructed from wood.

The discovery of the coin also documents trade with Rome.

“It is interesting that coins made it from the west to Spiš,” Hudák noted, as quoted by Spiš Korzár. “How could they do trade at such distances and use coins as currency?”

Open for the public

Probes also uncovered layers from the Middle Ages and modern history.

“We see floors and plastering from this era,” said an archaeologist, as quoted by Spiš Korzár. “The original layer where people walked is right at the bottom. The original level of terrain was about half a metre lower than it is today.”

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The terrain rose as a result of a huge fire at the end of the 19th century when this building was damaged and walling was used as a cave-in. Later, the building was used as a fire station, the archaeologist said.

There is an oven with a sweeping opening in the corner of the probe. It was used for heating. “We assume there was some kind of pub. There is also wall graffiti, pictures of gallows, and a sword. These are probably the remains of guests. There is also an entrance to the cellar where beer and wine were kept.”

Town Mayor Ľubomír Fifik noted that they would like to share these discoveries with the public.

Uncovered layers of the archaeological discoveries will be visible for visitors of the town together with some of the small ceramic findings.

>> Read more stories about archaeological discoveries in Slovakia here.

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