Researchers learn more about recently unearthed Roman coin hoard

Coin inscriptions reveal coins from Tetrarchic times
By , Coin World
Published : 05/18/16
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You never know when an everyday situation can turn historic.

Such an event occurred in April in Tomares, Spain — a small town about five miles from Seville — when a team of construction workers installing electricity in a park unearthed an incredibly large haul of Roman coins.

More than 50,000 coins were found in 19 jug-like vessels called amphoras. Nine of the amphoras were fully intact.

The actual weight of the haul was over 1,300 pounds (590 kilograms), according to a CNN report.

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The workers halted their project when they realized what they had come across. It is believed that the machines used during the construction caused some of the breakage among the 10 shattered amphoras.

The coins are mostly bronze, but feature a small percentage of silver — less than 4 percent.

“These coins are, for the most part, in very good condition of conservation,” Ana Navarro, director of the Museo Arqueológico de Sevilla, said.

When were the coins stashed away underground?

“We have been able to read for sure inscriptions for Diocletianus, Maximianus and Maxentius; almost certainly for Constantius I and probably for Severus II, on several coins, randomly selected,” Navarro said. “Thus at least on a preliminary basis, we could date this hoard to Tetrarchic times, a political system established by Diocletian [in] 293 to govern the vast Roman Empire that [lasted] until [the early third century] … when Constantine I defeated Majentius at the battle of the Milvian Bridge.”

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