Recently, workers started taking down the historic Cressoni Theater in Italy. They anticipated a straight forward job; however, it turned into anything but. While digging, they discovered 300 Roman gold coins, dating back to around 474 AD. And this is just one of many incredible finds made in the area over the past few years. Read on to find out more about this astonishing discovery…
Discovering 300 Ancient Roman Gold Coins
It’s not every day that we find something that could shed incredible light on important historical eras. However, recently, in an area just north of Milan, Italy, these finds have occurred more and more often. While preparing to build a new apartment complex on the site of the historic Cressoni Theater in Como, workers found hundreds of Roman gold coins. Locals considered the Theater a landmark, as it stayed open for 190 years, from 1807 to 1997. Still, the city plans to redevelop the area. While excavating the basement, workers happened upon the coins. Over the past few decades, archeologists, historians, and even ordinary folk have found several valuable artifacts in the same area, around the Novum Comum forum
The team discovered at least 300 coins, if not more. The coins, which experts believe date back to the late Roman imperial era, stayed preserved in a soapstone jar. However, historians are still testing and evaluating the coins, to learn as much as possible. Still, there’s no question this is a significant historical find.
Buried Around 747 AD
The Culture Minister of Italy, Alberto Bonisoli, confirmed that the area of the discovery is very significant for Italian archeology and history. Afterward, Bonisoli also said that even though “we do not yet know in detail the historical and cultural significance of the find,” this discovery “fills [him] with pride.”
Maria Grazia Facchinetti, a numismatist (an expert in rare coins), said in a press conference that whoever buried the coins did it right. “In case of danger, [whoever buried the coins] could go and retrieve it. They were stacked in rolls similar to those seen in the bank today.”
Looking at the markings on the coins, Facchinetti dated the coins to roughly 474 AD. She based her guess on the carvings of Honorius, Valentinian III, Leon I, Antonio, and Libio Severo featured on the coins. However, scientific dating methods will need to confirm Facchinetti’s estimation. She added, “All of this makes us think that the owner is not a private subject, rather it could be a public bank or deposit.”
More Coins Discovered Around the World
After their historic discovery, the jar and coins traveled to Milan, where the Mibac Restoration Lab will study them. There, they hope to precisely date them and, from there, discover their value and worth. Of course, there are also other mysteries surrounding the coins: who saved them, and why? While archeologists won’t say how much the treasure is worth until they know for sure, some experts have weighed in. Many Italian media outlets are reporting the find could be worth millions of dollars.
In the past few years, experts discovered Roman coins in a couple of sites around the world. In 2016, archeologists found a 2,000-year-old coin in the south of Old City of Jerusalem, dating back to the era of Nero the emperor. That same year, halfway around the globe, archeologists discovered ten ancient Roman and Ottoman coins in Okinawa, Japan. All of these finds are incredibly important and deserve full study. Each one brings us one step closer to fully understanding these bygone eras!