Coins from the 1st Punic War discovered

For your Just Too Cool file, this from History blog.

Divers doing an inventory of underwater archaeological sites off the coast of Pantelleria, an island in the Straights of Sicily between Sicily and ancient Carthage (modern Tunisia), have found almost 3500 bronze Punic coins lying in the sand.

The inventory project started in June, with divers exploring the sea off the Cala Tramontana (the east coast of the island) in order to create an itinerary for scuba tourism. They expected to see ancient artifacts, especially ceramics and amphorae which the area is known for, but the enormous quantity of coins was unexpected. They first discovered just a few hundred Punic coins (already an immense treasure, of course), but then day after day they just kept finding more until they reached 3,422.

All the coins were minted between 264 and 241 B.C., the exact dates of the First Punic War, and they all have the same iconography: the Carthaginian fertility goddess Tanit wearing a wreath of wheat on the obverse, a horse’s head flanked by symbols like a star, letters and a caduceus.

The coins were scattered on the sea floor relatively close to shore. There was no container or cache. Divers retrieved every individual coin by hand.

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Read the rest there.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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5 Responses to Coins from the 1st Punic War discovered

  1. dep says:

    I don’t think they’re real.Genuine ones would have the date “259 B.C.” in Roman numerals, wouldn’t they?

  2. Charles E Flynn says:

    Carthage Must Be Destroyed: The Rise and Fall of an Ancient Civilization [Hardcover].

    This book is required reading for those of you in danger of being interrogated at a cocktail party about whether the Romans hated the Carthaginians because the latter practiced child sacrifice.

  3. flyfree432 says:

    Thank you for the light hearted day today, I needed it from somewhere. Sometimes it is good to enjoy our faith and life.

  4. dans0622 says:

    Vladimir Putin will probably find similar coins pretty soon.

  5. pseudomodo says:

    I wonder what the chocolate inside tasted like after 22 centuries…