gold coins archeology dig Italy
© Italian Ministry of Culture
The coins are priceless
An amphora filled to the brim with gold coins dating back to the 5th century has been found in an archaeological dig in Italy.

The collection, which contains an unspecified number of gold coins, was discovered in the Italian province of Como on Wednesday in a theatre basement not far from where the ancient city of Novum Comum once stood. The 5th century is when the Roman Empire fell.

Found in an excellent state of preservation

The coins, contained in a soapstone vessel, is said to be a find of "inestimable value". Historians believe this is the first time a collection of its kind has "been found in such an excellent state of preservation."

"The container is big and had a hole from which you could see the content," Superintendent Luca Rinaldi, the leader of the dig, said to Italian paper Qui Como.

"Hundreds of gold coins from the late Imperial era have been found in the heart of the city #Como, in a soapstone receptacle of unprecedented form. "A discovery that fills me with pride," said the Minister @BonisoliAlberto"
Mr Rinaldi continued: "It contains gold coins stacked on top of one another nucleus, consisting of 27 coins that have already been analysed. But we can not simply overturn the contents or break the amphora.

"We need to do a stratigraphical archaeological examination, one by one, to understand what is inside and if everything belongs at the same time, the most recent piece gives it all the rest".

Although the historians intend to be thorough, they believe that the quality of the coins will make the dating process an easy task.

"Though the coins are all tied together, these are separated from each other," said Mr Rinaldi.

"It is like opening a purse. The state of conservation is so good that even dating should be fast enough."

"It's a discovery that fills me with pride"

The Italian Minister of Culture, Alberto Bonisoli, added: "We do not yet know in detail the historical and cultural significance of the find," said Minister of Culture Alberto Bonisoli.

"But that area is proving to be a real treasure for our archeology. It is a discovery that fills me with pride," he added.

The coins and the amphora have been transported to Milan, where they await further investigation.

To date, 27 coins have been extracted from the collection.