Unearthing Gold

Unearthing Gold

Nearly 300 Roman-era gold coins were discovered last week beneath the previous site of the historic Cressoni Theater in northern Italy. The coins were housed in a soapstone vase believed to be from 474 B.C. and in remarkable condition.

 Photo: Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities

Photo: Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities

After the cinema construction crew discovered the collection, a team of archaeologists from the ministry excavated the coins and brought them to a lab in Milan, where they are in the process of being examined and conserved.

 Photo: Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities

Photo: Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities

Historical records show that at least a part of the Roman Empire was collapsing around 1,500 years ago, with many wars being fought in Italy. Whether the deposit of the hoard has anything to do with the chaos that was engulfing the Roman Empire nearly 1,500 years ago is not settled, but current research may eventually provide answers.

Culture Minister Alberto Bonisoli said “More than exceptional, it’s epochal — one of those discoveries that marks the course of history,” during a Monday news conference. Archaeologists are now restoring and studying the coins at a laboratory in Milan, according to the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities.


We hope you’ve enjoyed Unearthing Gold! Do you have a theory on where the coins originated or what their story may be? Join the conversation below!