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Articles and Publications

Treasures of the Odessa region № 5. Orlovsky treasure

Perhaps one of the most famous and expensive treasures discovered in the vicinity of Odessa, so called Orlovsky treasure. Found in it precious coins from the ancient city Cyzicus still ranks second in the world among the hoards of coins according to their value and quantity...

"Kizikikiny" as these coins are often called by experts, have been found in the village of Orlovka (25 km from the city of Reni) in 1963, by the builders, which were looking for clay for the manufacture of adobe (clay block construction, brick) at a shallow depth (about 70 cm). When workers kneaded another portion of the solution, they noticed a jar of bronze, which was the "trunk" with the treasure! How many coins have been found - is still a mystery, because the hard workers immediately shared the booty among themselves and went home happy. Maybe no one would have heard about kizikinah if workaholics themselves were able to keep their mouths shut. Information reached the police, who immediately responded to the signal, and due to timely action taken at the thieves managed to collect 71 coins!

Supposedly, this number is only two-thirds of original volume of remains. Each of these coins is the greatest rarity in the world of numismatics, the price of which can be up to $ 20,000! To make it more clear how these coins are rare, we note only that in the last century in the various museums of the world received only 6-8 of these coins. The weight of each of them is around 16 grams. In those days, when these coins were in use, it is valued extremely highly. It was a fortune in the VI-IV centuries BC, which could belong to either an influential representative of the authority or a very rich merchant.

Judging by the fact that the pitcher was found at shallow depths, scientists have suggested that it was buried "in a hurry". Most likely the owner decided to stash treasures at the moment of the army of Darius I  Hystaspes crossing across the Danube in his aggressive campaign against the Scythians. The way the huge armada (about 700 thousand troops and 600 thousand ships) lay precisely in this area on the way which there was most complicated crossing - Istres (modern Danube). Once the engineers built a bridge for the crossing, the army of Darius was able to cross the river and, most of all, exactly than was made a stash. Apparently, for a host of treasures, the best of times and have not come quietly and treasure spent in the land of 2500 years.

Finally, a little bit about the vessel in which the coins were placed. Bronze jug can be considered as tab and temple, although most such finds were placed in bronze Olpe. It is difficult to say whether such use of ancient bronze vessels characteristic of the temple treasures. However, this bronze jug or rather its manufacturing equipment and decoration, allow us to make more accurate conclusions about the dating of the origin of the bookmark. At first, it was considered the Attic (the second quarter of V century BC), but a more precise dating has been made after careful research design handles, which found many similarities with that found in the mound vessel Gaimanova Graves (terminus ante quem), then carried bronze Macedonian products for the first half or the middle of IV century BC.

Valery Sinkovsky


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