The discovery was made during excavations in the basement of the Cressoni Theatre in the northern city of Como last week, and located not far from the ancient city of Novum Comum.
Dating from the late Roman period circa the 5th century, the coins were found stashed in an amphora. Pictures posted to Facebook by the Italian Ministry of Culture show the gold coins to be in excellent condition.
“We do not yet know in detail the historical and cultural significance of this discovery but this area is a real treasure for our archeology,” said Culture Minister Alberto Bonisoli in the post accompanying the pictures.
The find is one “that fills me with pride,” Bonisoli added.
The Cressoni theatre was inaugurated in 1870 before becoming a cinema. It was closed to the public in 1997 and was scheduled for demolition to pave the way for the construction of a luxury residence.
However, authorities now plan to put a pause on the construction work in order to facilitate further excavations of the site in case other ancient treasures lay hidden in the soil, AFP reports quoting local media.
Last year, a stash of 3187 Roman coins was discovered in the nearby Trentino during an archeological dig. Dating from the late third – early fourth century AD, the coins originated from a wide variety of mints in the empire, including Carthage, Antioch, Thessaloniki, Alexandria, Siscia, Lugdunum, Rome and Aquileia.
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