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A Shining Example of Roman Craftsmanship: Unveiling the Superb Berthouville Treasure

Sunday, November 27, 2016 15:03
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A Shining Example of Roman Craftsmanship: Unveiling the Superb Berthouville Treasure

A remarkable silver treasure discovered in France in 1830 is one of the most impressive collections of extremely well-preserved Roman artifacts. Even though almost two centuries have passed since it was found, researchers are still trying to find the answers to the secrets hidden within this fantastic hoard.

The striking silver hoard was discovered in March of 1830 – though no one could imagine then how important the find would be. The magnificent treasure was unearthed in the commune of Berthouville, in the Eure department of Normandy in northern France.

The Silver Hoard of Gaul

The hoard consists of unique artifacts made of silver and other metals. The items were dated to the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. Together, they are one of the best-preserved ancient Roman deposits related to the cults in Britannia and Gaul. Apart from the Berthouville treasure, only two more hoards have been found in a similar condition. Although the artifacts could have been made in the 1st century, they were hidden during the late 2nd, or the first half of the 3rd century.

The collection of 93 artifacts reaches a total weight of 25 kg (55lbs). Although most of them are cups, jugs, and bowls, there are also several items that are more interesting. Among the most exciting artifacts is a phiale – a special ancient vessel used for libations (a type of drink offered to a deity).

A phiale.

A phiale. (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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