Enormous haul of ancient Roman coins unearthed in Spain

Story highlights

  • 19 amphoras full of coins unearthed
  • They date from the end of the 3rd century A.D. to early 4th century A.D.
  • Workers digging ditches came across the treasure trove

(CNN)More than 1,300 pounds (590kg) of bronze Roman coins dating to the 3rd century A.D. have been unearthed by construction workers digging a trench in Spain.

The coins were found in 19 amphoras, a type of Roman jug, in Tomares, a town in Seville province.
Lola Vallejo, Tomares urban councillor, told CNN-affiliate Atlas that a crew had been digging a ditch to install electricity to a park when they came across the incredible find.
    "The machines hit against something that wasn't normal for this soil," Vallejo said. "The workers immediately stopped, and soon discovered that there were many coins there, inside broken amphoras."

    Incredible find

    "What is incredible is a discovery of this size -- there are 19 amphoras, all complete, and I can assure you that they can't be moved by one person alone, because they weigh so much due to the coins inside," said Ana Navarro, head of the Archaeology Museum in Seville.
    "Ten of (the jugs) were broken while they were digging up the trench, and the others, as you can see, we have here, whole and full of this set of coins," she said.
    The initial hypothesis is that the coins were to be used to pay taxes to the Roman empire, according to Spanish newspaper El Pais.