On 06 June 2013 at 10:00

Gold hoards from the low countries and the Conquest of Julius Caesar

Mr. Guido Creemers

Between 2008 and 2012, an intensive research has been carried out towards the presence and signification of some 8 recently discovered gold treasures (coins, armrings and gold necklace fragments) from the Low Countries. The research involved a detailed study of more than 500 gold Celtic coins, in a collaboration between the Universities of Amsterdam, Leuven and the Gallo-Roman Museum of Tongeren.

It could be proved that all the hoards were buried in the same period, during the Roman conquest of Gaul (Years 57 – 51 B.C.). Most of the coins from the hoards are ascribed to the tribes of the Eburones and the Nervii. The hoards of Thuin-1, -2 and -3, Fraire and Philippeville date from the early ‘50’s and are related to the field campaigns of Caesar against the Nervii and the Aduatuci. The treasures of Heers, Orp and Maastricht date from the late ‘50’s and are probably related to the rebellion of Ambiorix, king of the Eburones, against Caesar. During our resaerch, it has been proved that several hundreds of thousands gold coins have been struck on the territory of what we nowadays call ‘Belgium’. This gold was used by the elite to finance the wars against Caesar. Another conclusion from the study was that Caesar was plundering the region, in search of gold. After the wars, there is no gold any more in the North.


During the research, we also discovered the chief capital – the oppidum – of the Aduatuci, which has been besieged by Caesar in 57 B.C. After he had beaten the Aduatuci, he put 53.000 Aduatuci into slavery. This oppidum is situated in the ‘Bois du Grand bon Dieu’ in Thuin (near Charleroi). Besides several coin hoards, archaeologists did disvover also jewels, iron tools and lead sling shots of the army of Caesar. The dimensions of the ramparts are identical to what is mentioned by Caesar.


The results of this reserach are published in:

N. Roymans/G. Creemers/S. Scheers (eds), 2012: Late Iron Age gold hoards from the Low Countries and the Caesarian conquest of Northern Gaul, Amsterdam Archaeological Studies 18 / Atuatuca 3, Amsterdam University Press / Gallo-Roman Museum Tongeren.



Cercle de Lorraine


On 06 June 2013 at 10:00

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Mr. Guido Creemers

Guido Creemers is Chief Curator of the Gallo-Roman Museum in Tongeren, Belgium. He is specialised in the Bronze- and Iron Age periods of the region, as well in Provincial Roman archaeology. He published a.o. about the Celtic situla graves of Wijshagen, about Iron Age cemeteries, the Celtic gold hoard of Beringen, Celtic coin hoards of the Low Countries and about research on Roman sites in the Eastern part of Belgium.