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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Austrian Man Finds 650 Year Old Medieval Treasure Trove in Backyard, More Than 200 Objects in "Significant" Discovery


The Austrian Federal Monument Agency (BDA) reported a "fairy tale" find on Good Friday  .An Austrian man found about 200 medieval ornamental objects estimated to be about 650 years old while digging to expand a garden pool. The discovery is called one of the "qualitatively significant medieval treasure finds." The objects were found in the vicinity of Wiener Neustadt. 

A presentation will be made on May 2nd (11.00 clock)  in Vienna's Hofburg. There a "large number", about 150 pieces of jewelry items will be shown. The BDA, as a competent professional institution, is advising the finder, who wishes to remain anonymous and intends that "this important cultural heritage"  find be made” available to the public" after a scientific investigation.

According to a press release by the  Bundesdenkmalamt (Federal Monument Agency (BDA)),  an Austrian man digging to expand a small pond in his backyard garden found buried treasure in 2007 — hundreds of pieces of centuries-old jewelry and other precious objects that Austrian authorities described Friday as a fairy-tale find.  The revelation was made public by Austrian archeological authorities through a statement issued on Friday. 

Garment buckle with pearl 
Bedeutender Schatzfund in Niederösterreich
Image credit: Bundesdenkmalamt/Bettina Sidonie, Handout 

Austria's BDA, in charge of national antiquities, said the treasure trove consists of more than 200 rings, brooches, ornate belt buckles, gold-plated silver plates and other pieces or fragments, many encrusted with pearls, fossilized coral and other ornaments. It says the objects are about 650 years old and are being evaluated for their provenance and worth.

Ring
Image Credit: Bundesdenkmalamt/Bettina Sidonie, Handout 

Some of the ornaments contain jewels as well as beads, stones, and fossil corals. The monetary value of the treasure will be estimated only after completion of all investigations.

Brooch from find
This brooch was among an Austrian treasure trove estimated to be 650 years old.
Image Credit: Bundesdenkmalamt/Bettina Sidonie, Handout

The weekly magazine"Profile" reports in its latest issue titled "Jewels in the plastic bag" that the treasure ever came into the BDA was to due to the fact that the finder had sold his house in 2010. After the initial discoveryin 2007, the articles were stored in boxes in the man’s basement and rediscovered when the house went up for sale.

The findings were "initially surrounded by moist lumps of earth" such that "their forms were barely visible. The man eventually "cleaned them with common household cleaning products, according to Profile". Then he took pictures of the objects and requested help with their identification in relevant Internet forums. An amateur archaeologist encouraged the finder to report his discovery to the BDA, the responsible authority - which he did.

Belt buckle with figural representations
Gürtelschnalle (Bild: APA/BDA)
Image: Bundesdenkmalamt/Bettina Sidonie, Handout 

Karin Derler of the Federal Monuments Office, Landeskonservatorat of Styria, said the finder is and remains "100 percent owner adding "The goldsmith's work was "breathtaking."



Sources:
Karin Derler 

Bundesdenkmalamt
Profile

Press Release (German)

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