by Vladimir KULAKOV, Dr. Sc. (Hist.), Institute of Archeology, Russian Academy of Sciences
Waves splashed against the boards of warboats cutting across the Baltic. At long last their stemposts touched a gently sloping shore. Yet another gang of "Barbarians" disembarked-a tribe that had emerged victorious in the wars against the Huns, who made all of Europe shudder early in the 5th century, A.D. The seafarers' bags were aglitter with Roman gold...
Many centuries thereafter, when the Second German Reich was in its efflorescence (latter half of the 19th century), and when East Prussia was expanding its plowland, a farmer's plow hit upon "Barbarian" treasures that must have taken a lot of ancient Roman pennies, or solidi to be made.*
A similar find was recovered by a team of archeologists digging in the historical district of Heillibo in Konigsberg, then the capital of East Prussia (today near Elblong, Poland), fifty years before the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. This treasure found on the Baltic seaside then vanished as if into thin air.
Not so long ago, in 2003 to 2005, experts sorting out the stock of the A.S. Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow hit upon a collection of gold articles. This work was carried out by the Fine Arts Museum and the RAS Archeology Institute in keeping with the joint project on scientific analysis and cataloguing of West European finds dating back to the 6th and 7th centuries, A.D. Formerly the exhibits were stored in the depositaries of the Berlin Museum of Pre- and Protohistory. There were many unknowns pertaining to this collection. For one, when and how these items had been found, their typological and cultural status (whether recovered from burial grounds or hidden treasures), and how the Berlin museum had got hold of them. There were other questions that had been a puzzle to researchers for years, while the answers were actually on the surface, so to speak. It was a well-known fact that with t ... Read more