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Massive coin hoard found at wealthy Roman house in Northern Italy

An extensive Roman building has been unearthed during archaeological excavations in via Virgilio in the town of Merano located in the province of Bolzano in Trentino- Alto Adige region, Northern Italy.

Massive coin hoard found at wealthy Roman house in Northern Italy

The finds, including finely decorated fibulae (pins for clothing), which are now being analyzed, clearly show that the Roman house "was inhabited by a rich family”, says to Catrin Marzoli, director of the local provincial Superintendence of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape.

“A hoard of coins was buried in the ground and hidden under a millstone of the kitchen of the house – a treasure which was buried and never recovered", explains Catrin Marzoli.

"In total 3187 coins dating from the late third/early fourth century AD were recovered. The coins are in fact from the period of the Tetrarchy, when Emperor Diocletian, to stem the crisis of the Roman Empire, divided it into two parts - a western and an eastern - ruled by two senior emperors with the title of Augustus and two younger emperors with the title of Caesar. On the coins we found at Maia Alta in Merano, Maximianus Augustus, Constantius Clorus Caesar, Diocletianus Augustus and Galerius Caesar are immortalized."

The coins originate come from very far away mints, such as Carthage, Antioch, Thessaloniki, Alexandria, Siscia, Lugdunum, Rome and Aquileia.

Catrin Marzoli also adds how "great interest is paid now also to the discovery of various interesting archaeological finds which have come too light in Castel San Zeno, where we have been operating for several months."

In the basin of Merano, along the major Roman transit route, the Via Claudia Augusta, on the border with the province of Raetia, there once stood a customs station where taxes on Gallic goods were collected.

"The customs station is mentioned in the so-called altar of Diana Parcines which dates to the third century AD. The original location of the votive plaque is not known, but it is certain however that it was later reused as an altar in a Christian church. The inscription", explains the director of the local Superintendence, "records that Aetetus, a freed slave and head of customs at the Roman Statio called Miens, has dedicated the altar to the divine imperial family and to the goddess Diana. "

Source: Alto Adige [March 09, 2017]

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