Hundreds of Roman gold coins found in old theatre

MILAN – A vase containing hundreds of golden coins dating to the Roman Empire has been found during private excavation works in Como, official sources said today.

 Alberto Bonsoli, minister for cultural heritage, during a press conference following the discovery said, “this is a major breakthrough, it will make history. We are not yet ready to comprehend it, but this is a message from our ancestors.”

 According to official sources, the vase contains another three objects alongside hundreds of golden coins. “We have definitely spotted a golden bar [a sort of golden ingot],” Barbara Grasso, the head of operations for the excavation said. “We have only extracted the first layer consisting of 27 golden coins. It seems to be of Roman heritage weighing four grams per unit, coined during the period of emperors Onorio, Valentiniano III, Leone I and Livio Severo, dating to 474 AD. It is likely the vase may have been a public cash reserve and not a private treasure,” Grasso said.

 “The coins seem to have been piled according to a specific order. This suggests that the function of the vase is of a public cash reserve likely to have been hidden in a tracible place,” said Grasso. The artefact was found during the excavations for the refurbishing of an abandoned theatre. According to official sources, between 1300 and 1700, the current theatre used to be a church with an adjacent convent.

 “Como used to host the headquarters of a naval prefect, in order to defend the northern border from potential invaders. What would have made a public official berry a vase full of golden coins?” Barbara Grasso said during the press conference.

 The excavation works have been paused while public officials monitor the archaeological site.