An exciting archaeological and cultural event has recently taken place in Italy. In the basement of the theater, workers were carrying out major repairs. Suddenly, an incredible sight appeared before their eyes: a golden shower of coins fell from a broken, dirty jug. After studying the find by scientists, it turned out that the vessel is an ancient Roman amphora, and all the coins are made of pure gold, worth millions of dollars!
The event took place in September 2020 in Como, just north of Milan. The gold coins of the Roman Empire were found in an amphora, a large jug with handles where wine and other food items were usually kept.
Roman coins depict the emperors Honorius, Valentinian III, Leon I, Antonio and Libio Severo. They all lived until 474 AD. Images of these emperors will help correct any modern assumptions about what they looked like. Moreover, they will help scientists learn more about this turbulent period in Italian history.
Coin expert Maria Grazia Facchinetti believes that the cache belonged to a very noble and high-ranking Roman citizen. She came to this conclusion as a result of the fact that the coins were so beautifully and neatly folded. It is even possible that this is the property of a state bank at that time. Then there was such a turbulent period when the German invaders were approaching Italy. People hid their gold, hoping to pick it up later when everything calms down. But no one returned for the treasure …
Currently, all repair work in the theater, where the treasure was found, has been suspended. Until the archaeologists complete all the work on the extraction of the treasure and the survey of the place where it was discovered. Twenty-seven coins were found in the cache. Then archaeologists found another two hundred and seventy three. Only three hundred. Now they are in the Milanese restoration laboratory Mibac, they are being studied by specialists.
The Teatro Cressoni, in which this stunning discovery was made, was built in 1870. Then it was a residential building and a cinema. The building was abandoned in 1997. They decided to renovate the theater and turn it into a fashionable apartment.
At the moment, archaeological excavations are actively underway to discover if there is anything else under the building. The local superintendent of archeology, Luca Rinaldi, remarked: “We are talking about an exceptional discovery … This is practically an entire collection, unlike anything else ever found in northern Italy. The coins fell out of the jug as if from a tightly stuffed purse. " Culture Minister Alberto Bonisoli said the find was "a discovery that makes me proud."
Como is an ancient Roman city. It was once called Novum Comum and was founded by Julius Caesar in 59 BC. The Roman presence here was very significant for six centuries. By the 3rd century BC, almost forty thousand inhabitants lived in the city. The foundation of the city walls is over eight meters high. They are still visible, although they were still built by the legions of Cesare. The remains of a double arched gate, Porta Pretoria, are available to visitors. In ancient times, this city had temples to the Roman gods, craft workshops, houses, a forum and a theater. Outside the walls of the city there was a bathhouse, a cemetery and the best villas.
The Archaeological Museum in Como inside Palazzo Giovio contains a number of local ancient Roman artifacts, including paintings, mosaics, marble reliefs, frescoes and statues, as well as relics from prehistoric times to the present day. Pliny the Younger, the famous Roman historian who documented the eruption of Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii, was from Como and wrote lovingly about the city and the nearby lake.
At the same place where the coins were found, a gold bar was found. He was also taken to Milan for study. The money was found in exceptionally good condition. Each coin weighs four grams of pure gold. Their cost is determined by the imperial faces on them. For example, coins from the reign of Valentinian III are worth much more than coins from the reign of Libus Severus.
Once the excavations and all the research are completed by the experts, they will most likely be returned to Como and exhibited at the Paolo Giovio Archaeological Museum.
Ancient treasures and treasures always excite the human imagination. Read our article what the unique Celtic artifact, accidentally found in the mud, told the scientists about.
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