A diver found tens of thousands of ancient bronze coins off the coast of Sardinia, BTA reported.
Italy’s culture ministry said the man reported the find, after which divers working for the department’s art conservation and underwater archeology departments were dispatched.
The coins, dating from the first half of the 4th century, were found in sea grass not far from the northeastern coast of the Mediterranean island. It is not known exactly when the find was first noticed, located not far from the city of Artsakena.
It is not yet known exactly how many coins were taken out as they are being sorted. A statement from the department said they were at least around 30,000, and possibly 50,000 based on their total weight.
“All the coins are in excellent condition and extremely well preserved,” the ministry said. The inscriptions on the few damaged coins are also legible, they add from there.
“The treasure found in the waters off Artzakena represents one of the most important coin finds” in recent years, said Luigi La Rocca, an official at the archeology department of the Sardinian museum.
He added in the announcement that the find is “another proof of the richness and importance of the archaeological heritage that the seabed of our seas, traversed by people and goods from the most ancient eras, still preserves and preserves”.
The coins were found mainly in a wide sandy area between the underwater sea grass and the beach. Given the location and shape of the seabed, there may be remains of a sunken ship nearby, the Ministry of Culture suggests.