Black Sea Fortress Holds Two Thousand Year Old Treasure

You’ve heard of buried treasure and heard about it in several works of fiction, but did you ever think it could exist in real life?

Well it does. And it’s been in the Black Sea for two millennia.

Archaeologists recently excavated two hoards of treasure in the town’s citadel once held under siege by the Roman army about 2,000 years ago. More than 200 coins, mainly bronze, were found along with “various items of gold, silver and bronze jewelry and glass vessels” inside an ancient fortress in Ukraine.

Nikolaï Vinokurov, a professor at Moscow State Pedagogical University, revealed:

“The fortress had been besieged. Wealthy people from the settlement and the neighborhood had tried to hide there from the Romans. They had buried their hoards inside the citadel.”

Artezian, an area of at least 3.2 acres which also had a cemetery, was part of the Bosporus Kingdom. At the time, the kingdom’s fate was torn between two brothers, says FOX News.

Mithridates VIII fought for independence from Rome, while his younger brother, Cotys I, favored keeping the kingdom a client state of the expanding empire. An army had been sent to support Cotys, establishing him in the Bosporan capital and razing land controlled by Mithridates, including the kingdom of Artezian.

The Romans attacked and the people huddled in the fortress for protection, but Vinokurov said they knew that death was inevitable:

“We can say that these hoards were funeral sacrifices. It was obvious for the people that they were going to die shortly.”

Black Sea treasure

Live Science states that the siege and fall of the fortress occurred in AD 45.

The Romans burned it all down and then later rebuilt with the help of Cotys I, who had been successfully acquired the throne. However the treasures of the earlier inhabitants remained safe and undiscovered beneath the surface, evidence of a desperate stand against Rome’s growing power.