One of the world’s largest Roman silver coin collections has been unearthed.
More than 15 kilograms (33 pounds) of 1st and 2nd Century currency was discovered in Augsburg, Germany.
The University of Tübingen’s Institute for Classical Archaeology is examining five containers filled with Roman treasure. A preliminary count found more than 5500 coins.
“This amount of money must have been enormous by ancient standards,” ancient numismatics professor Stefan Krmnicek said according to News in 24. “It is certainly not owned by someone who belonged to the lower social pyramid. This is most likely to think of people who were active in the military or in trade.”
A team of specialists is meticulously removing dirt and rust from every coin. Each sample will then be digitally cataloged and numbered, with both sides photographed.
“Coins from the Roman Empire are basically the mass medium of antiquity,” Krmnicek said according to the publication.
Scientists are still trying to determine exactly how such a large amount of money was deposited, when it happened and why.
The treasure trove was unearthed in a construction trench in the Oberhausen neighborhood. Augsburg is Germany’s second-oldest city, behind Trier.