Vinkovci is a small town with only 35.000 inhabitants in the Vukovat-Syrmia county in Croatia. It is also the site of a recent – mind staggering – find of a Roman treasure. With a preliminary dating back to the 4th century it was found in the archaeological diggings of Roman Cibalae, the birth place of the Roman Emperors Valentinian I (321– 375) and his brother Valens (328 –378). Valentinian has often been considered the “last great emperor”, while Valens was given the epithet: “The Last True Roman”.
According to the preliminary news, the treasure should be worthy of a Roman emperor. All in all more than 50 items have been mentioned, including plates, saucers, bowls, jugs, cups and spoons, with a total weight of over 30 kilograms. Currently the treasure is kept in an alarmed vault in the Vinkovci City Museum with 24-hour police surveillance.
The treasure has been compared to the infamous Sevso Treasure, a hoard of silver objects consisting of at least 14 decorated silver vessels and a copper cauldron. Rumour has it that the treasure also comprised 187 silver gilt spoons, 37 silver gilt drinking cups and 5 silver bowls. Added to this should perhaps be a silver folding table currently exhibited at the National Museum of Hungary. Another spectacular hoard was found at Mildenhall in 1942. This is currently exhibited at British Museum, while the Sevso hoard is kept out of sight in a vault at Bonhams auctioneers, as the provenience and ownership of this treasure is highly contested.