Четири колективни монетни находки от „Градището“ край Рибен

Four coin hoards from Gradis hteto site near Riben

  • Sergey Torbatov Department of Classic Archaeology, National Institute of Archaeology with Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 2 Saborna Str., 1000 Sofia


The multilayered site of Gradishteto is located in the northwestern surroundings of Riben village (Dolna Mitropolia municipality, Pleven district). Since 2013, regular archaeological excavations are taking place there. The research in 2016 appeared to be especially beneficial providing significant additions and corrections with regard to the general chronology of the site, its stratigraphy and the inner periodization of the cultural layers registered on its territory as well as their function and cultural and historical interpretation. A thorough scientific processing has been accomplished of the multiple coin material from campaign 2016, found largely in a certain archaeological context. The results are of paramount importance for the satisfactory resolution concerning the problems of the chronological periodization.

The subject of the work here presented are four hoards as part of the numismatic material. Three of them are dating from the Late Roman Age, and the fourth one – from the time of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom.

The first three hoards terminate in emissions of Valentinian I, Valens and Gratianus. All the coins they contain have burned. The stratigraphic observations and the construction analysis of the registered architectural structures carried out in the course of campaign 2016 testify to the existence of two separate phases of habitation of the fortified settlement built there about the mid 4th c. AD. The composition and the condition of the hoards in question coming from different places within the fortified territory convincingly and accurately outline the time and circumstances leading to the end of the first phase. The archaeological realities and the numismatic data unambiguously show that the Late Antiquity settlement near Riben not jus suffered, but even ceased to exist for a certain time during the years of the Second Gothic war of Emperor Valens (376-378).

The fourth hoard contains two asprae of Tsar Ivan Alexander with his son Michael Assen. The coins have been found beyond any adequate archaeological context and most probably represent a small share of a hoard its main part discovered in treasure hunters’ diggings within the site limits not too long ago. The concealment of the hoard – among ancient ruins on long since abandoned terrain but close to a road known for centuries and probably still walked in those days, gives us grounds to associate it with the tragic circumstances about the end of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom.

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