Hundreds of gold coins dating back to the late Roman imperial era were discovered this fall in a soapstone jar stowed away in the basement of the Cressoni Theater in Como, north of Milan.
Archaeologists are currently studying the hoard that was found during excavations of the former theatre, which opened in 1807 before closing in 1997. The coins depict emperors Honorius, Valentinian III, Leon I, Antonio, and Libio Severo up to about 474 AD.
“We do not yet know in detail the historical and cultural significance of the find, but that area is proving to be a real treasure for our archeology,” said Italian Culture Minister Alberto Bonisoli, who added it is “a discovery that fills me with pride.”
Centinaia di monete d'oro della tarda epoca imperiale sono state rinvenute in pieno centro a #Como, in un recipiente in pietra ollare di forma inedita. “Una scoperta che mi riempie di orgoglio” ha detto il ministro @BonisoliAlberto pic.twitter.com/ff6ep38gtG
— MiBAC (@_MiBAC) September 7, 2018
According to Italian media, the coins could be worth millions of euros.
“This finding demonstrates the effectiveness of the protection, knowledge and enhancement action carried out by the ministry through the superintendencies and encourages an even more concrete commitment to extending the practice of preventive archeology even in the context of private initiative,” said superintendent Luca Rinaldi.