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The Hildesheim Treasure: A Glance at Ancient Roman Silver

June 15, 2012

Hildesheim TreasureThe Hildesheim Treasure is the largest collection of Roman silver found outside imperial frontiers. It was unearthed on October 17, 1868 in Hildesheim, Germany and is one of the most interesting aspects of ancient Roman history. The treasure was buried about two meters below the ground on Galgenberg Hill and was uncovered by curious Prussian soldiers who were in the area. It is widely considered to be the largest collection of Roman silver tableware to be found outside the Roman Empire, and each year, thousands flock to the Antikensammlung Berlin (Altes Museum) in Berlin, Germany to see the treasure trove with their own two eyes.

 

It is believed the treasure dates back nearly 2,000 years, and most of its silver was produced under Emperor Augustus’ rule. In total, the trove of treasure contains about seventy intricately crafted vessels whose intended use was for eating and drinking. It is generally believed that the treasure was the table service of a Roman commander, who was military active in Germania. Although others tend to suggest the items collectively known as the Hildesheim Treasure are war spoils, one thing is certain: the collection is massive, expensive, and fit only for royalty.

 

The most celebrated item from the treasure is the majestic Minerva Bowl. The bowl features a detailed image of Minerva, who is sitting on a rock throne while holding a cane in her right hand and a shield in her left. The goddess is wearing her signature battle headgear and flowing robe and is considered by the Greeks to be the goddess of wisdom and war. The bowl is 25 cm in diameter and 7.1 cm in depth, with two handles measuring 3.4 cm in length. Other notable items found in the Hildesheim Treasure are plates, tureens, cups, trays, goblets, egg-holders, a folding three-legged table, a pedestal and a candelabrum. Copies of these items have been made for the Victoria and Albert Museum in the United Kingdom.

 

While the majority of the population will never lay their hands on a treasure trove quite as large as the Hildesheim Treasure, we each have our own collection of gold and silver knick-knacks and jewelry. If you’d like to live like a king for a day (or even longer, depending on how much gold and silver you have!), send your items to Cash for Silver USA! We can turn those silver items into cash and promise the highest payouts – guaranteed! If you aren’t happy with the amount on the check, simply send it back, and we’ll return your precious metal collection as soon as possible. So if you’d like to live like a king, what are you waiting for? Send us your silver treasure today!


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