Experts found about 30,000 – 50,000 bronze coins, minted nearly 1,700 years ago, under the Mediterranean Sea.

The treasure includes tens of thousands of ancient coins at the bottom of the Mediterranean sea. Video: Italian Ministry of Culture

On November 4, the Italian Ministry of Culture announced the discovery of tens of thousands of bronze coins dating back to the first half of the 4th century in seagrass beds, near the coast of the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, near the town of Arzachena, Italy. The Italian Ministry of Culture did not release details of the discovery process, only saying that a diver saw the metal block and led to an extensive archaeological investigation. The site has an interesting shape and location, opening up the possibility of a wreck nearby.

The newly discovered coins are of the follis type (a type of Roman and Byzantine coin), numbering about 30,000 – 50,000, surpassing the notable discovery in 2013 in Seaton, England, of 22,888 coins. These coins were discovered along with a series of amphora vases originating from Africa and the East.

Most of the coins are in good preservation condition, only 4 coins are damaged but still legible. The minting period was from 324 to before 346. The coins originated from nearly every Roman mint operating during that period.

The preservation and analysis of these coins promises to provide deeper information about their historical context. “The Arzachena treasure represents one of the most important coinage discoveries in recent years,” said Luigi La Rocca, head of the Archeology, Fine Arts and Landscapes (ABAP) unit of the Ministry. Italian culture, talking about the importance of new discoveries.

La Rocca also highlights the wealth of archaeological heritage at sea, where people have frequently traveled and goods have been regularly transported since ancient times. He also emphasized the fragility of this heritage against natural and human impacts, as well as the efforts of the Italian Ministry of Culture to protect the heritage with advanced restoration and conservation techniques. Currently, experts continue to study the ancient vault near the town of Arzachena to understand more about ancient maritime trading activities and the vast influence of the Roman empire.

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