Small coin finds are usually the subject of numismatic analyses and research of coin circulation in the Past. One comes to the conclusion that what primarily accounts for those coins having found their way to soil is the fact they had been lost. However, after information on early medieval single finds in the area of Poland this is not so explicit. As opposed to former assumptions, not all of them occurred in the finding place by mere accident. Some of them were hidden there on purpose. Various settlements and Christian churches are the sites on which small finds occur most often. Most finds are to be expected on the sites of former fairs. Yet, finds which could point out to deliberate hiding, do not occur there. Coins being deposited as corner stone offerings under the foundations of a building was the most popular form of using them for cult and ritual purposes. Coins have been found at the bottom of post holes, under sill-beams or inside walls. Depositing coins inside hillfort or castle fortifications was another variant of the same tradition. A series of hearth finds testifies to the cults connected with fire. Also the worship of the dead is reflected by small coin finds In graves. The question whether or not offerings in Poland's territories would have been made into water (this rite is known from Scandinavia) remains unanswered. The quality of coins from hearths does not differ from the average. While coins used for corner stone offerings were deliberately selected. Less valuable coins or even counterfeits were laid under dwelling houses - the owners' practice to economise even on cult is plain to see. Whereas the value of offerings from stronghold ramparts exceeds the average; in such expensive investments the value of a single coin did not matter. The numerous occurrence of counterfeits in irreclaimable deposits proves the fact that even while communicating with supernatural forces avoidable losses were avoided. For the ancient inhabitants of Poland, coins were chiefly valuable money. A tentative analysis at the present stage of investigations into single coin finds estimates the number of such discoveries as approx. 2-5% of the whole of small finds. The others should be regarded as accidental losses. The relatively large difference in this estimate results from our lack of knowledge on the particular archaeological context in which they have been discovered. (3 figures)
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