You might say that finding ancient Roman hoards in Italy doesn’t sound like a big deal since it’s there where they should be uncovered. But believe it or not, the city Como from Northern Italy has never been this famous as it was the last few months when the first Roman hoard was discovered there.
24. THE OLD ITALIAN TREASURE
Scientists are in awe as a group of workers made this incredible discovery in an old building. Whose hoard was it and where was it found? This is where it gets mysterious!
23. THE ROMAN EMPIRE
During the Roman Empire, Como was a very important town called Novum Comum. The town was a Roman colony at first, and it was expanded during the reign of Julius Caesar who visited the city as he was marching towards Rome after the Gallic Wars.
22. NOVUM COMUM
Julius Caesar drained a nearby swamp and gave all the inhabitants of the Novum Comum Roman citizenship. Soon enough, the city started flourishing, being right in the middle of the important trade routes. During the medieval age, Como became even more important. But today, nobody knew that the city would also hide an incredibly huge hoard!
21. VERY WELL HIDDEN
Even though Italy is renown for its history and archeological discoveries that were found there, no one expected this treasure to be found in Como. It wall very well hidden and for a very good reason, as you’re about to find out.
20. AN OLD THEATRE
The theater where the discovery was made was built in 1870, most probably over an older building that wasn’t there at that time, so no one ever thought that it might hide such a unique treasure. Everything started when the old Cressoni theatre needed a renovation, so workers came to take care of the basement.
19. RENOVATING THE BASEMENT
As they began working, they discovered a container in the foundation of the theater and thought that it was best to alert the authorities, as the Italian law requires it. Nobody ever knew what could have been in that exact spot before the theater was built…
18. AUTHORITIES ARRIVED
In the past, the old theater was a luxury home and a cinema, but it has been empty since 1997. According to the Archaeology News Network, “authorities now plan to suspend work at the site to allow further excavations.” What was in the container?
17. A GREAT DISCOVERY
The container was an amphora which was transported to the regional archaeological Superintendency, in the conservation laboratory. Alberto Bonisoli, the Italian Minister for Culture, has announced the discovery, saying that the “do not yet know in detail the historical and cultural significance of the find,” adding these next words…
16. EXPERTS ARE AMAZED
“That area is proving to be a real treasure for our archeology,” explained Bonisoli, adding that it is a “discovery that fills me with pride.” After studying the stone container, the experts have concluded that it was an amphora from the Roman era, the classical world. But that’s not all! Check out the weird part…
15. HUNDREDS OF GOLD COINS!
Experts are stunned to see that the container hide hundreds of coins, which will help them learn more about the Later Roman Empire. The archaeologists did not take the entire container from the site of discovery. They took some parts of the soapstone vessel and saw stacks of gold coins!
14. SOME COINS WERE REMOVED
As they uncovered the coins, experts were amazed to see hundreds of coins neatly stacked on top of each other. They only took 27 coins to investigate them. The Indian Express stated that the rest of the vessel was left in the ground “because there is a need to do a stratigraphical examination.”
13. ANALYZING THE COINS
The stratigraphical examination will help experts understand the nature of the original place where the amphora was hidden. Taking a good look at the coins that were in the lab for examination revealed that these coins are ancient! You won’t believe how old and different they are!
12. THE COLLAPSE OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE
Nobody yet knows why the coins were left there buried, but there might be some theories that explain the mystery. First, the 5th century was the time when the Western Roman Empire was collapsing, and when that area was overrun by Germanic invaders. Then, there is another theory at #3.
11. ARCHAEOLOGISTS WILL BEGIN WORK
Were the coins hidden from invaders by the owner and then he was killed, leaving that treasure forgotten? We may never know for sure, but archaeologists are working on learning more about them. They will also complete a survey of the area where the hoard was found to investigate their origin.
10. A TREASURE FOR ARCHAEOLOGY
Superintendent Luca Rinaldi stated that they are very fast and effective in protecting such discoveries, also demonstrating the “knowledge and enhancement action carried out by the Ministry through the Superintendencies.” Rinaldi added that they also encourage “an even more concrete commitment to extending the practice of preventive archaeology.’
9. PRECIOUS COINS
The academic community will learn a lot more about the late imperial period after analyzing these coins. They are indeed a real treasure for the archaeologists who are now studying each coin. Experts are still working on revealing more information based on the coins they have sampled…
Italian media suggests that the hoard is worth millions of dollars if they were sold at an auction!
8. LEARNING MORE ABOUT THE 5TH CENTURY
One thing the experts could find out is how the Roman Emperors looked like if their faces on the coins are similar to other artifacts found depicting them, and how they styled themselves. As soon as the archaeologists finish with analyzing the coins, they will begin the investigations in the area where they were found.
7. THE ROMAN ECONOMIC SYSTEM
Historians have successfully sampled 27 coins, all of them dating from the 5th century. What makes this discovery very interesting is that during that time, the currency flow in the Roman economic system was very little. And that’s not everything experts have to say about this treasure!
6. THE FIRST HOARD FOUND IN NORTHERN ITALY
As we have mentioned in the beginning, no other hoard has been discovered in northern Italy until now. The gold coins are in an excellent state; they are so well preserved that the images and the engravings can be easily spotted. But here is where it gets interesting!
5. COINS FROM THE REIGNS OF FIVE EMPERORS!
So the year and the sponsor of the coins were easy to discern, but not only that! The coins showed that the coins were not minted just during a single emperor’s reign but five! The coins have been created during the reign of Honorius, Valentinian III, Leon I, Antonio, and Libio Severo!
4. A WEIRD PLACE TO STASH THE COINS?
Not only the container hid gold coins, but also a bar of gold! It was at the bottom of the urn, and archaeologists haven’t yet seen all the items inside the vessel, which means that even more precious artifacts could be inside it!
Here’s what an expert in rare coins said about this hoard…
3. WHO WAS THE OWNER?
Maria Grazia Facchinetti, the expert in rare coins, stated that someone likely buried the vessel “in such a way that in case of danger they could go and retrieve it.” Wasn’t that site a weird place to stash your hoard? She has a different opinion at #1!
2. WAS THE THEATER A PUBLIC BANK?
The coins “were stacked in rolls similar to those seen in the bank today,” said Facchinetti. She also said that not only this manner of stacking but also the location could hint about the identity of the owner.
She explained that they believe the “owner is not a private subject, rather it could be a public bank or deposit.”
1. CLOSE TO THE FORUM
Why do they think so? Apparently, the theater is very close to the city forum, explained Facchinetti. The forum was a place of business where merchants, banks, and temples were built. So, in the area where the theater was built centuries later, there could have been a bank.