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Spanish Workers Uncover Priceless Coins

Thursday, May 5, 2016

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There’s no telling what you might uncover at the site of an excavation, but rarely is a construction find as cool as what some workers in Spain found: more than 1,300 pounds of Roman coins dating back more than a millennium.

According to Spanish newspaper El País, a group of construction workers excavating for a water-supply pipe near a park last Wednesday (April 27) found the buried coins, in amphorae (ancient jar-like vessels), in the town of Tomares. The newspaper reports that there were 19 amphorae found, and about 600 kilograms (about 1,320 pounds) of coins.

The workers alerted authorities, the paper said, and archaeologists associated with the Spanish government were sent in to assess the find.

Fourth-Century Find

According to the Archaeology Museum of Seville, the coins likely were made in the 4th century AD, and were probably never put into circulation.

Experts from the museum spoke to Spanish news source The Local about the find.

"The majority were newly minted and some of them probably were bathed in silver, not just bronze," Ana Navarro, director of the Archaeology Museum, told the publication.

"I could not give you an economic value, because the value they really have is historical and you can't calculate that," she added.

The museum experts told reporters this may be the biggest collection of coins of the same type from that era ever found.

According to media reports, the museum is now in possession of the artifacts.

Once the jars were removed and the site was cleared, work was scheduled to resume.


Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Construction; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Historic Structures; Infrastructure; Latin America; North America; Program/Project Management

Comment from Mark Bowen, (5/11/2016, 4:37 PM)

Never underestimate the desire of governments to confiscate anything of value when the rightful owner is not around.

Comment from Andrew Piedl, (5/13/2016, 10:02 AM)

Museum = government?

Comment from M. Halliwell, (5/13/2016, 11:00 AM)

Andrew, I think Mark was getting at workers -> government archaeologists -> museum. Probably seized from the site as a "historical resource" and there will likely not be any compensation for the discovery by the workers. With that many coins, I'm sure the workers wouldn't mind a few each...would be a boon to their bottom line if sold, but a family treasure if kept.

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