It’s not often that archeologists find ancient coins with Arabic engravings in Germany. A recent such discovery, however, may prove that the Baltic Sea coast had trading ties to the Middle East as far back as the 7th century.
Finding old coins in the ground is no great trick in Germany. Indeed, there are small armies of hobby historians who, armed with handheld metal detectors, comb fields and forests for bits of old metal, often flouting laws prohibiting such treasure hunting. Roman coins, a bit of Celtic spare change and the occasional thaler of more recent provenance are hardly a rarity.
Recently, though, scientists in the eastern German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania discovered a more meaningful treasure: silver coins with Arabic engravings, silver jewellery and bars. The find proves the existence of a trade route connecting Middle Eastern regions with the Baltic Sea coast dating back to the early Middle Ages.