Lost and Found: Hiker stumbles upon a priceless treasure trove of ancient Roman coins

Last Update: May 04, 2023, 18:24 IST

The treasure is reported to be in excellent condition. (Photo: Facebook)

The hoarding is believed to be the savings of a soldier who fought in the Social War and probably in the conflict between Silla and Marion.

Finding an archaeological treasure is always exciting, and the latest find in Livorno, Italy is no exception. A member of the Livorno Paleontological Archaeological Group found 175 silver denarii in the Bellavista Insuis estate, a natural area of ​​agriculture and forestry. As of the end of the Republican era, the treasury is in very good condition, with only a few mutilated coins that can be reassembled, according to a post on Facebook. The denarii in the hoard can be dated to between 157–156 BC and 82 BC, with the maximum concentration of coins occurring during the social bell years between 91 and 88 BC.

The Facebook post also mentions that the study of the material took more than a year and was carried out in collaboration with the Natural History Museum of Livorno and cultural volunteers associated with the museum. The Paleontological Archaeological Group of Livorno also played an important role in documenting the find, from measurements to weights and photographic documentation of all the coins.

“The Palaeontological Archaeological Group of Livorno has in fact collaborated for the logistics of all operational phases, from measurements to the weighing of all coins and photographic documentation to the drafting of the catalogue, together with the Superintending Archaeological Officer. Planning and preparation of the exhibition ,” the Facebook post mentioned.

The treasure is believed to be the savings of a soldier who fought in the Social War and may have been involved in the conflict between Silla and Marion. After returning home, the soldier may have hidden the silver money under a tree in a nearby forest, never to return and retrieve it.

Social media users had varied reactions and views on the archaeological finds. There were some questions and curiosities about the value and ownership of such treasures. Some expressed a desire to see more discoveries. “Okay, how much was the find worth, and did the finder get to keep it or get reimbursed?” One user commented.

“I love these types of articles, there is no value to be found and of course there are a bunch to read to be found, the searcher doesn’t really get coin value or in some cases nothing at all for the search , should just keep it or pass it on to the next family generation,” wrote another user.

One user commented, ‘I would have liked to see more pictures of the coins.’

Meanwhile, Federico Santangelo, a historian and head of classics and ancient history at Newcastle University in the UK, suggested that the hoarding may have been a burial by a businessman who wanted to protect his money during turbulent times, Live Science reported. Reported. He said he does not believe the coins can go back to a soldier, although it is theoretically possible. Santangelo, who was not involved in the discovery, explained that the chronology of similar coins indicated that many burials occurred during periods of war and instability. He said that during the crisis, some people hid their money but were unable to get it back due to various reasons.

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