600 Kilos of 4th Century Roman Bronze Coins Discovered in Spain

Works being carried out in the town of Tomares in Spain have brought to light 19 Roman amphorae containing 600 kilos (1322.77 lbs.) of bronze coins from the 4th century: a finding that archaeologists consider rare in Spain and perhaps worldwide as well.

According to information published by the Spanish newspaper 20 Minutos , the amphorae – 10 complete and nine broken – do not correspond to those used at the time for wine or grain transport, but are smaller and were found in a sealed receptacle covered with broken materials. The formidable set was found during construction work in Olivar del Zaudín Park in Tomares.

The researchers’ initial hypothesis about such an accumulation of coins in one receptacle is that the money could have been destined to pay imperial taxes or the army. Sources from the Ministry of Culture explained to 20 Minutos that the coins “were deliberately hidden in an underground space and covered by some bricks and ceramic material.”

The coins, which are now in the Archaeological Museum of Seville awaiting the necessary reports to determine their value, show the figure of an emperor on the front and various Roman symbols on the back, such as one referring to abundance. They were probably minted in the East and all have been called Fleur de Coin (essentially a perfect coin): they have not circulated and therefore do not present any wear.

As reported by the Spanish newspaper El País , the councilwoman, Lola Vallejo, said that the discovery of the amphorae is “timely”, so that the canalization in Olivar del Zaudín Park “will continue normally”.

Lola Vallejo explained to El Pais that when work began in one of the trenches they had just gone one meter (3.28 ft.) deep when the machine detected something that was not normal, so “they stopped the work” and that was when the workers discovered the amphorae.

From there, she went on to say that “the proper protocol was activated as it is established in these cases” and the Civil Guard and archaeologists “went to determine the correct procedure.” Then “archaeologists indicated that they should open a wider trench” and by “late afternoon the process was completed and they told us it was a timely discovery, so today works could continue as normal.”

Featured Image: An amphora filled with coins that was unearthed in Tomares, Spain. Source: Paco Puentes/El País