A trove of at least 30,000 Roman bronze coins was spotted by an Italian diver off the coast of Sardinia, according to the Italian ministry of culture.
An investigation conducted by divers from an art protection squad and the ministry’s undersea archaeology department revealed that the coins date back to the first half of the 4th century CE. The coins were discovered close to Sardinia’s northeast shore, near the town Arzachena.
Experts believe that the coins may have been part of a shipwreck, since they were located in a sandy area right by the shore, and that they may serve as evidence of the area’s wealth during ancient times.
As the hoard is still being sorted, it is estimated that there are somewhere between 30,000 and 50,000 coins. The bronze coins in question are known as follis, which were introduced under the monetary reforms of Roman emperor Diocletian around 294 CE.
They are well-preserved, according to the ministry, with the few that have been damaged still in legible condition.