Archaeologists have come a long way when it comes to making major discoveries, but these artifact masters will admit that they still have a long way to go and new discoveries are always popping up.
One of the latest in these exciting discoveries involves construction workers who just happened to come across something spectacular while laying pipe in Tomares, Spain. It turns out “just another day on the job” ended up changing their lives.
The construction crew had been tasked with installing electricity so they were digging a ditch at the site which had been designed to be a park. They had been digging about a meter deep when they realized that the site had a lot more history than they had anticipated.
When the construction workers felt something hard during their dig, they stopped work to investigate. It turns out that there were several homemade jugs below the ground’s surface at the site that was preparing to be Zaudin Park. The workers immediately called in professionals to survey the jugs and they stopped the project while the archaeologists gently dug up the nineteen objects buried below the earth’s surface. Even though the archaeologists were extremely gently with the objects, some of them broke due to the age and fragility of the pieces.
The archaeologists concluded that the pieces were called amphoras, which are tall ancient Greek or Roman jars that have a narrow neck and two handles. They are said to hail from the Neolithic Period in that area of Spain, and while that is fascinating all by itself, it is what was found inside the pieces that really floored the archaeologists and construction workers. Thousands of bronze and silver-coated coins were found inside the amphoras, which explains why they were so heavy.
The Seville Archaeological Museum concluded that the coins may go all the way back to the end of the fourth century. The coins are etched with the images of Ancient Roman emperors Constantine or Maximian on one side and the other side has various Roman stories on them. They also believe that the coins were brand new when they were first buried because they were in such great condition when they were found.
The coins will go on display for the public after they are inspected more carefully.
According to museum head, Ana Navarro Ortega, nothing like this has ever been seen before.
“I can assure you that the jugs cannot be lifted by one person because of their weight and the quantity of the coins inside,” Ortega said. “So now what we have to do is begin to understand the historical and archaeological context of this discovery.”
While the discovery was an amazing one, researchers and archaeologists are stumped as to why coin-filled jugs were buried in the first place.
Experts have a couple of theories regarding the rare find. One is that the coins may have been buried during a time of discord between the Roman Empire and Spain in 218 BC. This is the time period when the Roman Empire had started to conquer Spain. Or, there is a theory that it may have been set aside to pay army levies or Imperial taxes. There is also the idea that the money was hidden to protect it from the many Spain invasion that had been going on.
The one thing that experts believe is that the coins were placed there intentionally.