A great hoard of gold and silver dating back to the late Roman times in a German forest, was found by an amateur treasure hunter, the kind of people that used to be the top enemy of an archaeologist. Fortunately, nowadays people gain more by calling the experts to the field, instead of hiding the findings and keep it for their own, and sell it later.
This finding has prompted speculation that it could actually be the legendary Nibelung treasure.
The unnamed treasure seeker came across the buried treasure, estimated to be worth more than €1 million, while searching a wooded area in southern Rhineland-Palatinate.
The treasure includes numerous leaf-shaped solid gold brooches, which are thought to have formed part of the decorations from a coat of a Roman ruler, as well as a solid silver bowl set with gold and stones set within it, and a set of gold and silver plated statuettes which formed part of a military commander’s portable chair.
Some of the treasure appears to be Eastern European in style, and experts say that it was probably buried around 1500 years ago, about the same time when the Germanic Teutons were plundering and pillaging throughout the ruinous and crumbling Roman Empire.
In chronological and geographical terms, the treasure fits into the epoch of the Nibelung legend, stated the chief archaeologist, Axel von Berg. But for now, it isn’t clear if it really belonged to the Nibelung treasure, but whoever owned it, lived very well and could actually be a prince, stated von Berg.
The Legend of the Nibelungs is the most famous Epic saga in Norse/Germanic mythology and is said to be based on the Royal family of Burgundy. The story begins when a treasure of the Burgundians falls into the hands of Siegfried.
Whether the treasure is the famous treasure of the Nibelungs or not, it seems to have been buried in haste by its owner(s) or by robbers in around 406-407 AD, when the Roman Empire was falling apart in the area along the Rhine, which was actually the natural border between the Empire and the Germanic tribes.
Prosecutors have begun an inquiry into the hobbyist who discovered the treasure because they suspect he may have sold some of it, possibly to a buyer abroad, as it is to be expected.