THE TREASURE FROM LAISVĖS ALĖJA (LIBERTY AVENUE)

M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art, V. Putvinskio St. 55, Kaunas


At the exhibition visitors will see the treasure found under the cobble-stone road in Laisvės Alėja (Liberty Avenue), which lay there for almost 500 years.

By a happy chance, during the course of excavations necessary for the reconstruction of Laisvės Alėja, the treasure of the rule time of Sigismund Augustus was found. Despite different epochs, state systems, the expansion of Kaunas city borders, the treasure lay under the cobble-stone road for almost 500 years, and only in the summer of 2018, coins of the mid-16th century have been excavated. The uniqueness of the treasure is a 1565 Sigismund Augustus double-groat coin. Such coins were found only in two other treasures in Lithuania, but none of them was transferred to the Lithuanian museums.

In order to present to the public this 16th-century find of exclusive cultural and historical value, it was necessary to carry out the initial restoration of coins, to make digital images, to install the exhibition with the help of Expobalta designers, and to produce special equipment to exhibit this treasure.

Coins found date back to the 15th century up to 1566. The greater part of the treasure, nearly 54 %, consists of coins of a small denomination (denarii). Alongside, there are coins of medium value – half-groats, groats, double groats, and three-groat coins.

The treasure has special value due to the abundant quantity of denarii and their dating, because of the fact that only a few coins of a certain mintage year were known. This treasure includes also coins rarely found in Lithuania, such as the Elbing Gdansk denarius and the Brandenburg-Krosno groats but there are no double groat coins issued in 1567, 1569 and 1570, therefore, it may be concluded that the treasure was hidden in circa 1567. 

 

Finders:

"Kauno tiltai" workers Ramūnas Stankevičius (electricity)

Virginijus Mongirdas (excavator)

Archeologist Dainius Balčiūnas

 

Sponsors:

“Kauno tiltai“

“Expobalta“

“Mint House“



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