An Immense Cache of Bronze Coins Unearthed Near Sardinia Could Be Linked to an Ancient Shipwreck

by Lucas Garcia
ancient coin discovery Sardinia

The remarkable discovery of a vast number of antique bronze coins near the shores of Sardinia has been traced back to the observant eye of a scuba diver who noticed a metallic glint underwater.

On Saturday, the Italian Ministry of Culture reported that following the diver’s notification, a team comprising both the art protection squad divers and specialists from the ministry’s subaquatic archaeology division was deployed to the site.

These coins, which hail from the early decades of the fourth century, were nestled amid the oceanic plant life in proximity to the island’s northeastern coastline. While the ministry has not specified the exact timing of the original sighting by the diver near Arzachena, it has sparked considerable archaeological interest.

The precise tally of the coins recovered remains to be concluded as they are still undergoing classification and cataloging. However, an initial assessment by the ministry indicates a minimum count of 30,000 coins, which may extend up to 50,000, deduced from their aggregate weight.

The state of preservation of the coins is extraordinary and uncommon, as announced by the ministry. Even those few coins that exhibited signs of damage were still inscribed clearly enough to be legible.

According to Luigi La Rocca, an official with Sardinia’s archaeological department, “The hoard retrieved near Arzachena is one of the most significant numismatic finds in recent times.”

He further expounded in his statement that the discovery “attests to the wealth and significance of the archaeological assets that still lie hidden within our seas, which have been traversed by people and goods since the earliest times.”

The recovery operation also saw the participation of diver teams from the fire brigade and the border patrol, contributing to the effort of locating and salvaging the coins.

Situated predominantly in a spacious tract of sand bridging the sea grass beds and the shoreline, the coins’ location suggests the potential proximity of an ancient shipwreck, given the contours and characteristics of the ocean floor, as per the ministry’s speculation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about ancient coin discovery Sardinia

What was discovered off the coast of Sardinia?

A vast collection of antique bronze coins dating from the first half of the fourth century was discovered off the coast of Sardinia by a diver who noticed a metallic glint underwater.

Who was involved in the recovery of the ancient coins?

The recovery operation involved divers from Italy’s art protection squad, the subaquatic archaeology division of the Ministry of Culture, firefighter divers, and border police divers.

How many coins were found and are they all intact?

While the exact count is still pending, the Italian Ministry of Culture estimates that at least 30,000 to possibly 50,000 coins were found. Most of the coins are in an exceptionally rare state of preservation, with even the damaged ones having legible inscriptions.

What does this discovery indicate about the site near Arzachena?

The discovery suggests that the site could potentially be the location of an ancient shipwreck, given the coins were found between the underwater seagrass and the beach along with the specific contours of the ocean floor.

Why is this coin discovery important?

The find is considered one of the most significant numismatic discoveries in recent times, highlighting the rich and important archaeological heritage preserved in the seabed, which has been a nexus for the movement of people and goods since ancient times.

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Marco Gentili November 5, 2023 - 12:02 am

wow, just read about the coin find in Sardinia, that’s incredible right? imagine just diving and stumbling upon a historical treasure like that.

Anna Ricci November 5, 2023 - 12:16 am

read the article twice and still can’t believe the number of coins they’ve found! has anyone heard when they’ll be displayed to the public?

Lisa Bianchi November 5, 2023 - 6:26 am

Heard about the discovery on the news its amazing how much history is still buried under the sea I wonder what else they’ll find with the coins.

Luca Rossi November 5, 2023 - 11:57 am

i’m always skeptical about these things…but if its true, its a big deal for Sardinia and the whole archaeological community.

Giorgio Conti November 5, 2023 - 2:38 pm

this is why I love archaeology, every discovery like the one in Sardinia is a doorway to the past. Can’t wait to see what they learn from all those coins!


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