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Construction workers in Spain discovered huge trove of ancient Roman coins

Ian Harvey
Source: Consejeria Cultura

Not something you would normally expect if you are a plumber and doing the boring job digging holes and laying pipes, but a group of plumbers have recently stumbled upon a kind of treasure of ancient coins in Spain. During a pipe-laying project in a public park in southern Spain, workers unearthed a plethora of ancient Roman coins weighing more than 1300-pound or 600-kilongram, hailed by the local cultural officials as a unique and monumental discovery.

According to the officials of The Seville Archaeological Museum, the discovery contained a set of 19 amphoras filled with thousands of silver-coated and bronze Roman coins, dating all the way to the end of 4th century AD. The officials also told that the coins are believed to have been freshly minted before they were stored away, possibly to pay the soldiers or other civil servants.

The local media rushed to cover the news along with a number of experts from the neighbouring countries considering the sheer volume of the discovery. The director of The Seville Archaeological Museum, Ana Navarro welcomed the discovery as one of the most historic and of incalculable value. The coins analysed so far by the experts bear the images of the emperors Maximian and Constantine, along with a variety of other pictorial representations on the reverse of the coins.

 

She told the reporters that the Museum has informed the British Museum and museums in France and Italy about the finding, since the whole region shares a somewhat common Roman history. She said that experts from these countries are more than welcome to visit the site and inspect the coins for a better and versatile understanding. The pipe-laying work undergoing at the Park has been temporarily halted until further notice, while archaeologists investigate the area for other possible discoveries.

Present day Seville has a rich Roman history with Roman footprints scattered almost in every street corner. The story of Roman conquest of Hispania commenced with the Roman struggle against Carthage. In 206 BC Romans decided to make the decisive move against Carthage and planned an invasion of the Iberian Peninsula. The contest was fierce and concluded in Roman victory when Scipio Africanus crushed the defenders at Alcala del Rio not far from the modern day Seville. He founded the city of italica and his well-equipped army easily crushed the local resistance sprouting after the successful invasion. Romans stayed in the region for another 700 years highly influencing the culture and lifestyle of Spaniards.

Archaeologists in Spain are calling this a work of sheer luck and fortune, since they clay pots were buried at least a meter underground. If it was not for the plumbers digging hole in the Park this amazing discovery could have gone unchecked, possibly for another few decades.

The officials from the Museum said that there is not even a single coin from the same era in such immaculate condition in the museum. They added that once the investigation on all the coins is complete, the Museum will put the coins on display for the public to visit and see for themselves.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News