The ‘devil’s coin’/Bath Abbey photo file (Wessex Archaeology/iStock/szaffy)
Employees with a renovation project at the Abbey of Bath in the united kingdom a startling discovery when they removed seats in the old church – a few of the strange coins with an image of a devil under the row of seats.
On the one side, the coins bear the Latin legend ‘CIVITAS DIABOLI (the city of The devil) and on the other the Danish legend ’13 MAJ ‘1973’.
Stunned by the bizarre finding, researchers have worked to unravel the remarkable story behind the ‘devil coins.’ The date on the coins refers to an incident that took place on the Danish island of Anholt in 1973, according to experts from Wessex Archaeology.
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“Thirteen ‘ritual sites’ were discovered by local residents, which precipitated an investigation by the police of the Danish mainland,” the archaeology company explained in a statement. Strange masks, bizarre sandstone formations, the bones wrapped in a string, black candles, and even a (fake) shrunken head on a pole, were allegedly found on the sites.
The ‘devil ‘ coins’ discovered at the Abbey of Bath (Wessex Archaeology)
The strange finds were picked up by the Danish national media, sparking stories of black masses and satanic sects on Anholt. There was even a story about human sacrifice on the island, that was invalidated when the alleged victim contacted the police.
While the initial hysteria death, the mystery remained, coins similar to those discovered at the Abbey of Bath, began to appear in churches and museums in Denmark. “Some were accompanied by letters claiming to be from a satanic high priestess Alice Mandragora,” said Wessex Archaeology, noting that letters or short stories about the “‘ cult” were also found in Køge city museum, and even behind paintings in Copenhagen’s police headquarters. “All of these artifacts reference the date of May 13, 1973, and Anholt,” it explained.
Almost 400 coins are known to have been found.
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File photo of Bath Abbey
The strange artifacts, however, were part of an elaborate hoax. In 2013, the Danish newspaper Politiken revealed that the joke was the brainchild of Knud Langkow, office clerk at the National Gallery of Denmark, who died in 2004 at the age of 73.
Bruce Evans, Wessex Archaeology project manager at Bath Abbey, says that the coins underline the importance of the approach of a new “find” with a degree of suspicion.
“To discover is that it’s a fabrication, designed to mislead, is both fascinating and a timely reminder that we must always every discovery with a critical eye,” he said in the Independent.
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File photo of Bath Abbey (iStock)
An aspect of the ‘devil ‘ coins’ the mystery, however, endures – it is not yet clear how the coins ended up in the British abbey. However, there is a pattern of coins on holiday destinations, so it is possible that Langkow or one of his colleagues posted the coin during a trip to the historic Abbey of Bath, Wessex Archaeology told Fox News. But there is no conclusive evidence that that happened, the spokeswoman added.
Other small denominations were also found during the renovation of the Abbey and an order of service for May 15, 1902.
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