- Brother-in-law Luis Lens and Cesar Gimeno race while diving
- 53 intact gold coins are said to be in ‘an ideal state of conservation’
- Experts believe they may have been hidden from invaders 1,500 years ago
Amateur freedivers have found one of Europe’s largest gold Roman coins while on vacation off the coast of Spain.
Believed to have been hidden from barbarian invaders some 1,500 years ago, the hide was discovered by the brother of two brothers who cleaned the seabed in Alicante.
Despite having been lying on the sea floor from the late 4th and early 5th centuries, 53 intact gold coins are said to be in ‘an ideal state of preservation’, allowing researchers to read inscriptions and identify Roman emperors. .
Amateur free divers have found one of Europe’s largest gold Roman coins while on vacation off the coast of Spain
Jaime Molina of the University of Alicante said: ‘This is one of the largest sets of Roman gold coins ever found in Spain and Europe.
‘This is an extraordinary archaeological and historical discovery as its investigation may offer a wealth of new information to understand the final stages of the decline of the Western Roman Empire.’
Brother-in-law Luis Lens and César Gimeno found the extraordinary discovery seven meters from the coastal town of Xebia.
Believed to have been hidden from barbarian invaders some 1,500 years ago, the hide was discovered by the brother of two brothers who cleaned the seashore in Alicante.
Experts from the University of Alicante have now identified three coins, including the Roman Emperor Valentinian I (pictured left), seven coins depicting Valentinian II, 15 of Theodosius I (pictured right), another 17 from Arcadio and 10 coins of Honorius.
Lens told local media: ‘I thought I had found what looked like a 10 cent coin.
‘It was in a small hole, like a hitch.’
But after returning to his boat he took a closer look and discovered ‘an ancient image like a Greek or Roman face’ and thought it was a lost gem.
The two brothers then returned to the site and took two hours to dig up the rest of the treasure using corkscrews and a Swiss Army knife.
Brother-in-law Luis Lens and Cesare Gimeno found the extraordinary discovery seven meters from the coastal town of Zubia.
One of 10 coins discovered depicts Honorius, who was Roman emperor from 393 to 423
Experts from the University of Alicante have now identified three coins that show the Roman emperor Valentin I, seven coins showing Valentinian II, 15 of Theodosius I, another 17 of Arcadio and 10 of Honorius.
Molina said: ‘There are no remains of sunken ships in the area where they were found, so it is probably a voluntary hideout from the arrival of the barbarians on the coast of Hispania, in this case, the Alans.’
He continued: ‘This discovery tells us, in the context of fear, of a world that is coming to an end, that of the Roman Empire.
The University of Alicante reveals that the coins will now be cleaned and displayed at the local museum
‘The discovery reflects a historical moment of extreme insecurity with the violent arrival of the barbarians in Spain and the definite end of the Roman Empire in the Iberian Peninsula from AD 409.’
The coins will now be cleaned and displayed at a local museum.
The Gulf of Portitxol in Zebia is an area known for its abundance of underwater archaeological remains.
Anchors, amphora cargo, ceramic relics from different periods, metal materials and elements associated with ancient navigation have been preserved to the first day.
How England Spent Nearly Half a Millennium Under Roman Rule
55BC – Julius Caesar crosses the Channel with about 10,000 soldiers. They landed in a pegwell bay on the Isle of Thanet and met a British army. Caesar was forced to withdraw.
54BC – Caesar crosses the Channel again in his second attempt to conquer Britain. He came with 27,000 infantry and cavalry and landed on the deal but was unopposed. They marched inland and after a hard fight they defeated the British and the prominent tribal leaders surrendered.
However, later that year, Caesar was forced to return to Gaul to deal with the problems there and went to the Romans.
54BC – 43BC – Although there were no Romans present in Britain during these years, their influence increased due to trade relations.
43AD – A Roman army of 40,000 led by Aulus Platius landed at Kent and moved to the southeast. Emperor Claudius appointed Plotius the governor of Britain and returned to Rome.
47AD – Londinium (London) is founded and Britain is declared part of the Roman Empire. A network of roads was laid across the country.
50AD – The Romans arrive in the southwest and make their mark as a wooden fort on a hill near the X River. Decades later a city was built on the site of the fort and it was named Isca.
When the Romans ruled and the Saxons ruled, all pre-Roman cities were called ‘Cesters’. This was called ‘Exe Cester’ and its merger eventually gave rise to Exeter.
75 – 77AD – The Romans defeat the last resistant tribes, making all of Britain Roman. Many Britons began to adopt Roman customs and law.
122AD – Emperor Hadrian orders that a wall be built between England and Scotland to keep Scottish tribes out.
312AD – Emperor Constantine legalizes Christianity throughout the Roman Empire.
228AD – The Romans were being attacked by barbarian tribes and the troops stationed in the country were recalled to Rome.
410AD – All Romans are recalled to Rome and Emperor Honorius tells the Britons that they no longer have any connection with Rome.
Source: history on the net