Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Archaeologists in Portugal net haul of Roman coins

Source: AP via

LISBON, Portugal (AP) - Archeologists in Portugal have found more than 4,500 Roman coins bundled together inside the wall of a blacksmith's house dating from the fourth century.

Antonio Sa Coixao, who is leading excavations in Coriscada in northeastern Portugal, said Wednesday by telephone the 4,526 copper and bronze coins were inside a hollow wall and covered by dirt and tools. The coins had apparently been put in a sack which had mostly disintegrated, he said. «It looks like someone was trying to hide them, but they never went back to get them,» Sa Coixao said.

Archeologists excavating the site, which is believed to be a Roman village, came across the coins Friday, he said.

Sa Coixao said he expected to send the coins to the University of Lyon, France, to be cleaned and catalogued.

The excavation site, about 300 kilometers (180 miles) from Lisbon, also includes a spa and a large house with heated rooms and colorful mosaics, according to Sa Coixao. He expected the dig to last several more years.

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