Today, the idea burying of coins is akin to the practice of that excentric Aunt some of may have who stuffed money
in her mattress because she "didn't trust banks".
We simply can't (I also include myself) appreciate the urge to hide wealth that existed in ancient times.
Actual coins amassed represented a one time chance and an irreplaceable wealth that we have grown ignorant of.
The middle class merchant, who didn't have a savings account, promissory notes, paper cash, or any recourse to replace the loss of hard coin cash. Keep it on you? To large to bulky, and to conspicuous.
Leave it at the villa? A runaway slave or an avaricious relative that might blame that same slave was always a threat. Hire someone to guard it? Well....trust is a relative thing. "I'll give you 5 denari a week to guard my 300 denari". Hmmm....
Nope. Bury it. And don't leave a large stone
, or wooden stake to mark it. And don't bury it 2 feet east of the big pole at the corner of the pigsty.
No. Bury it out in the woods
, a field
or similar. Oh, and do it at night perhaps. Well a little tiny light or none at all. In ancient times activity ceased at sunset in a way we don't appreciate today. The head
of the household going out after sunset might be unusual enough. Let's follow him and see what he's up to.
So, out in the woods
you are. Not much light. Not to worry. You know exactly where you are and you can for sure find it again. Dig a hole, put in not your working capital, but your savings.
Go back to the villa have some wine and a bath, and rest secure in the knowledge that that no-good son-in-law knows not where your treasure is. And he may not.
But, come next spring, after the rains, the spring growth, and a bit
of land cultivation and you are in for a surprise.
I base this on a personal experiment. A year and a half ago, I buried a 1905 nickel not ten feet from my back steps. I let a season pass then went to dig it up. I had
written down the paces, direction, and depth because at the time, I was sure that anyone could find what they buried if only they just marked in in their minds, so to speak. Be aware that this was an experiment in minature. Only one coin. But it was very close to my back steps. I'm glad I didn't bury 15 at the end of the property 1/2 acre away. The coin is still
there. Paces vary and even in a yard the lay of the land changes. I even went modern and used a metal detector. I found nails, pieces of wire. an Ipana toothpaste tin of the late 1950's, a rusty pocket knife, but not the nickel. And I didn't have to factor in a sudden illness, the barbarian hordes overrunning me, me not telling anyone else about my midnight ramble, and me deciding that that no good
found it and so giving up
To my mind, I'm actually amazed that there aren't more hoards
of ancient coins