A team of archaeologists have unearthed evidence of the world’s first Hole in the Wall cash machine dating back to the Roman empire, buried for centuries in an unassuming field in Hatfield, England.
The ‘noteworthy’ discovery suggests Juno Moneta, the Roman Goddess of Money and Funds, was smiling on the British Isles as early as AD 265.
The discovery, located in what appears to be the wall of an ancient bakery at the heart of the commercial Roman town, sheds light on how cash was the cornerstone on which the ancient community was founded and clearly shows the Romans were indeed keen on their ‘dough’.
The mysterious fragments and collection of Roman coins, dated to the year AD 289, are traces of one of the world’s first automated monetary distribution machines, with clear signs of wear and tear from extensive use by townsfolk.
The site points to cultural evolutions showing how shoppers and local shopkeepers alike were clearly ‘cashing in’ on a ready source of money in their town.
A Roman vase was also discovered at the site, filled with cash. Archaeologists believe the vase was used for cash storage within the wall so the Hatfield Romans could easily replenish and access their hard ‘urned’ money.
The site, and fragments of the Roman ‘Hole in the Wall’ serve as an important reminder of how physical cash has always been embedded within British life.
One local sceptic said ‘For my two-penneth, it sounds like a load of old bullion to me’, however, the presence of minted currency shows the Romans in Hatfield were clearly ‘coining it in’ well before current historians had previously estimated.
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