Ancient Gold and Silver Coins Found at Spanish Mining Site

17 Oct 2017  Tue

When you depend on life to surprise you, life surely does answer. Ancient gold and silver coins have been found at a mining site in Huelva, southern Spain.

According to Atalaya Mining, the coins are of incalculable value and a milestone in the archaeology of this mining area. It is truly amazing that these 40 to 50 silver and gold coins belonging to the late first century and early second century A.D., are from the era of Roman emperors Nero, Trajan, and Vespasian. The discovery took place on July 3 while company archaeologists were working on excavating a Roman-era structure inside the mining facilities, according to a statement released by the company to Coin World in September.

Heading the team were Luis Iglesias, director of archaeology at Atalaya Mining, and Juan Aurelio Pérez Macías, a professor at the University of Huelva. The coins were a considerable sum when they were cached, indicating that the person, who concealed them was a person of relevance within the ancient city of Orium in the Rio Tinto region. The area is named Rio Tinto, a river known for its red colouration, resulting from the acidic, iron-rich chemistry of the water and near which mining has taken place for centuries.

Most of the coins in the find are silver denarii, but at least two gold aureii were part of the cache. The firm thinks that archaeologists are clueless for time being as they don’t have any idea when the coins were buried and research needs to be conducted. However, the hoard may have been hidden during the time of the emperor Marcus Aurelius, as the Baetica region was under assault from invaders from North Africa.

A financial crisis and plague exacerbated the threat, and certain towns were abandoned for more than a century. According to Spanish news reports, the coins were clubbed together as they would have been held in a leather purse when cached.

Archaeologists stumbled upon the coins when they were placing a metal sheet to protect a site that has already been tagged as rich in Roman remains. The excavations are being funded by the local province, and the latest haul of found coins will remain provisionally on display at the Mining Museum in Minas de Rio Tinto until a permanent place for them is established.

A separate find of 600 kilograms of bronze Roman coins occurred in Seville in April 2016.

Knowledge Base