! Murcia Today – Divers in Javea find one of the largest collections of Roman gold coins in Europe

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Publication date: 09/21/2021

The incredible discovery was made in Cala de Portitxol in the Marina Alta coastal town, province of Alicante

Two divers unearthed a treasure that would have rested at the bottom of the sea in Javea for about 1,500 years.

Freedivers Luis Lens and César Gimeno first found eight perfectly preserved gold coins that archaeologists from Alicante The university dates from the end of the Roman period; precisely between the end of the 4th century and the beginning of the 5th.

The chance find sparked a series of dives by university archaeologists and the Guardia Civil diving unit in collaboration with the Javea Council, during which a total of 53 gold coins were recovered – one of the largest collections of Roman coins discovered in Europe.

Additionally, divers found three nails – possibly copper – and lead remnants that archaeologists believe may have belonged to what was once a chest to house the treasure.

Although they have been at the bottom of the sea for hundreds of years, the pieces are in a “perfect state of preservation”, which has enabled researchers to read inscriptions and identify periods of government. emperor: three coins belong to the Valentinian period; Valentinian II (seven pieces); Todosio I (15); Arcadi (17); Honorius (10 pieces); and one unidentified.

Divers from Javea discover one of the largest collections of Roman gold coins in Europe

“It is one of the largest sets of Roman gold coins found in Spain and Europe,” said the head of the team of underwater archaeologists at the University of Alicante, Jaime Molina, adding: “It is an exceptional archaeological and historical discovery since its investigation can offer a wealth of new information to understand the final phase of the fall of the Western Roman Empire.”

The professor also suggested that the rooms “could have been intentionally hidden” to protect them from looters.

“The discovery illustrates a historical moment of extreme insecurity with the violent arrival in Hispania of the barbarian peoples (Suevi, Vandals and Alans) and the final end of the Roman Empire in the Iberian Peninsula from 409 AD”, adds he does.

The pieces will be restored and exhibited at the Soler Blasco Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum in Javea.

Meanwhile, the regional government of Valencia has allocated 17,800 euros to continue investigating Portitxol Bay, an area renowned for an “abundance of underwater archaeological remains”.

In 2019, a joint research project between the town hall, the University of Alicante and the regional government, which is still ongoing, uncovered anchors, old storage jars, ceramic remains from different periods and elements associated with ancient navigation, among others.

Indeed, one of the archaeologists in charge of the project, José Antonio Moya, defined the seabed of Javea as “a history book that we read little by little”.

Image: Ayuntamiento de Javea


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