'Enormously valuable' Roman coins discovered

'Enormously valuable' Roman coins discovered

Enormously valuable Roman coins discovered

Two amateur free divers have found one of the largest collections of Roman coins in Europe off the east coast of Spain.

Luis Lens and César Gimeno were diving off the island of Portitxol in Xàbia on Aug. 24 when they found eight coins, before further dives by archaeologists returned another 45 coins, according to a press release from the University of Alicante last week.

Scientists from the university’s Institute in Archaeology and Historical Heritage then analyzed the perfectly preserved coins, dating them to between the end of the 4th century and the beginning of the 5th century.

The coins were in such good condition that the inscriptions were legible, allowing the
team to identify coins from the reign of a number of Roman emperors.

Three date from Valentinian I, seven from Valentinian II, 15 from Theodosius I, 17 from Arcadius, 10 from Honorius and there is one unidentified coin.

Alongside the coins divers found three nails, likely made from copper, as well as lead remains which could be from a severely deteriorated sea chest.

Jaime Molina Vidal, professor of ancient history at the University of Alicante and leader of the team of underwater archaeologists, said this was one of the largest sets of Roman gold coins found in Europe.

“It’s very significant,” Molina Vidal told CNN last week.

“It’s enormously valuable.”