Research and publication on the Gallic numismatic treasure of Thuin

2nd of July 2012

An in-depth study was conducted from 2008 to 2012 on the historic Celtic treasures that had recently been found in the Netherlands The treasures comprise more than 500 coins and various pieces of gold jewellery. The research was carried out by specialists from the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam, the Katholieke Universiteit of Leuven, the Gallo-Romeins Museum in Tongeren and the Institut Royal du Patrimoine Artistique.

The research focused on 8 pieces of treasure discovered in Flanders, Wallonia and the Netherlands, but which had hitherto only been the subject of short summary publications. Among them is the Gallic numismatic treasure of Thuin, acquired by the King Baudouin Foundation in 1992.

This research provides new perspectives for the archaeology, history and numismatology of the Celtic period in the former Northern and Southern Netherlands. The main conclusions of the research relate to the dating of the entire treasure, which can now be fixed with certainty to between 57 and 51 BC, during the period of the Roman conquest of Gaul. Experts have even been able to classify the various parts of the treasure chronologically. It has been ascertained that there was widescale plunder of our regions by Julius Cesar’s legions and that they took back to Italy considerable quantities of gold, so much in fact that this precious metal fell prey to a significant devaluation.

Another finding of the research is the location of the Atuatuci’s oppidum in Thuin, south of the River Meuse. This fortifited site is thought to have been their capital. During his Gallic War, Julius Cesar described this place and talked in detail about its conquest. After centuries of archaeological research, we have at last been able to solve one of the greatest mysteries in the historic accounts of the Roman emperor.

Late Iron Age gold hoards from the Low Countries and the Caesarian conquest of Northern Gaul is on sale at the Gallo-Romeins Museum in Tongeren, or can be ordered from [email protected].