Posted by: Idioma Extra | December 13, 2011

The Weird and the Wonderful

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Tanja Hols, Janitor In German Library, Finds Historic Coins Possibly Worth Millions


Library janitor or Indiana Jones?

Tanja Höls, a custodian at the Passau state library in Germany, stumbled upon a box full of coins while on the job last week. Turns out, those coins are thousands of years old and could be worth millions.

“The box itself was fairly unspectacular, it looked like a big jewelry box, with lots of little drawers inside,” she told The Local.

When she told her bosses at the library, they were stunned. The library believes that the collection likely belonged to local prince-bishops, who hid the treasure in the library in the early 19th century to avoid paying taxes.

The gold and silver coins can be traced to ancient Rome, Greece and the Byzantine empires, according to the German Herald.

Höls, who had walked by the unassuming box many times before daring to open up, will be rewarded for her curiosity. A spokesman for the library told Der Spiegel that “she was very honest, a brilliant historian and a great detective. We are certainly going to promote her to the curating side of the museum and we’re discussing a suitable reward for her.”

Word of the Day

Origin: Middle English, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Norwegian dialect stumle to stumble
First Known Use: 14th century
intransitive verb
1 a : to fall into sin or waywardness; b : to make an error : blunder; c : to come to an obstacle to belief
2: to trip in walking or running
3 a : to walk unsteadily or clumsily; b : to speak or act in a hesitant or faltering manner
4 a : to come unexpectedly or by chance <stumble onto the truth>; b : to fall or move carelessly
transitive verb
1: to cause to stumble : trip
2: bewilder, confound
an act or instance of stumbling

More Vocabulary

Avoid: v. to prevent the occurrence or effectiveness of
Curator: n.
a person who is in charge of the things in a museum, zoo, etc.
Daring: adj.
venturesomely bold in action or thought
Empire: n.
a major political unit having a territory of great extent or a number of territories or peoples under a single sovereign authority
Fairly: adv.
Stun: v.
to overcome especially with paralyzing astonishment or disbelief


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