BIBLE HISTORY DAILY

Tens of Thousands of Roman Coins Discovered

Diver spots ancient coin hoard off Sardinian coast

Roman coins

One of the Roman coins found near Sardinia, showing the face of Emperor Constantine. The coin reads “CONSTANTINUS MAX AUG.” Courtesy Italian Ministry of Culture.

A diver off the northeastern coast of Sardinia discovered one of the largest caches of Roman coins ever found. According to a press release by the Italian Ministry of Culture, the coins date to the first half of the fourth century CE, and include coins of the Roman emperors Licinius (r. 308–324) and Constantine the Great (r. 306–337), who co-authored the Edict of Milan, legalizing Christianity in the Roman Empire.

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Diving for Treasure

The massive cache of Roman coins was discovered in pristine condition. Although it is not yet certain exactly how many coins were found, an early estimate places the number between 30,000 and 50,000, based on weight. Of those, only a handful have any significant damage. All the coins date between 324 and 340 and originated from nearly every mint in the empire at that time. As the coins are cleaned and preserved, archaeologists will gain a better understanding of their context and also their exact count.

roman coins

Divers excavating the coins. Courtesy Italian Ministry of Culture.

The coins were spotted by a local diver near the town of Arzachena. The diver immediately alerted the local archaeological authorities, who carried out a salvage excavation in the area. The location of the find—a large sandy area near the beach—suggests the coins were likely part of an ancient shipwreck, and archaeologists plan to continue their work in the area to discover the remains of the ship.

According to Luigi La Rocca, a Sardinian archaeology department official, “The treasure found in the waters of Arzachena represents one of the most important discoveries of numismatic finds in recent years and highlights once again the richness and importance of the archaeological heritage that the depths of our seas, crossed by men and goods since the most ancient times, still guards and conserves.”


Related reading in Bible History Daily

Roman Coin Hoard Discovered at Banias

Hasmonean Coin Hoard Comes to Light at Modi’in

All-Access members, read more in the BAS Library:

Roman Coins Boast “Judaea Capta”

“Revolt” Coins Minted on Temple Mount

Tracing the Spread of Early Christianity Through Coins

An Ancient Coin Depicts Noah’s Ark

Not a BAS Library or All-Access Member yet? Join today.

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1 Responses

  1. madeleine says:

    Ancient Coin depicts Noah’s Arc: Clearly there is an “arc” or boat with all the right symbols especially the peeking couple and the dove with olive branch. But there is zero to say this flood sent this boat to what is Phrygia after this flood. We call it a “Biblical” flood because it was Monumental and reported for generations. But where it actually happened is truly unknown.
    I personally subscribe to the mountains in North West China at the end of the last Ice Age. In the South of China the Ice Age did not reach, and there, between those rivers, I believe was the “Garden of Eden.” But that is my theory. All of this is theory. It is wonderful that we have kept these “Biblical”, Monumental events through Story-Telling.

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1 Responses

  1. madeleine says:

    Ancient Coin depicts Noah’s Arc: Clearly there is an “arc” or boat with all the right symbols especially the peeking couple and the dove with olive branch. But there is zero to say this flood sent this boat to what is Phrygia after this flood. We call it a “Biblical” flood because it was Monumental and reported for generations. But where it actually happened is truly unknown.
    I personally subscribe to the mountains in North West China at the end of the last Ice Age. In the South of China the Ice Age did not reach, and there, between those rivers, I believe was the “Garden of Eden.” But that is my theory. All of this is theory. It is wonderful that we have kept these “Biblical”, Monumental events through Story-Telling.

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