The discovery of up to 50,000 Roman coins has been made off the coast of Sardinia.
The Italian culture ministry reported that a diver from Italy spotted a metallic object off the coast of Sardinia, which ultimately resulted in the uncovering of thousands of Roman bronze coins.
Once the man reported the incident, a team of divers from an art protection squad and the undersea archaeology department of the ministry were dispatched to examine the area. The coins, dating back to the early 4th century, were discovered in sea grass near the northeast coast of the Mediterranean island.
The ministry has not revealed the specific date of the first sighting, but it was in close proximity to the town of Arzachena. The exact count of coins recovered is currently being determined as they are currently being organized. It is believed that there are at least 30,000 coins, potentially even up to 50,000.
The ancient Roman coins recovered are called follis, a bronze coin introduced around 294 AD with the monetary reform of the former Roman emperor Diocletian.
Surprisingly, every coin is remarkably well-preserved in an exceptional and uncommon condition. The ministry reports that even the small number of coins that were damaged still have readable inscriptions.
An official from the archaeology department of Sardinia, Luigi La Rocca, praised the discovery as one of the most important findings of coins in recent years.
He stated that this serves as additional proof of the value and significance of the archaeological remains that are safeguarded below the ocean floor.
According to the ministry, most of the coins were discovered in a sandy region located between the underwater seagrass and the shoreline, indicating the potential existence of shipwrecks in close proximity.
In 2013, a comparable finding was uncovered in Devon, UK where 22,888 follis were discovered. This remarkable collection of coins was located by Laurence Egerton only a short distance from a Roman villa and military fortification that dates back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries.
This report includes contributions from the Associated Press.