First ever ancient Roman coins discovered in the ruins of a Japanese castle

Excavations of the Katsuren Castle in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan revealed numerous artefacts, including ancient coins among which are four copper ancient Roman coins dated back to the 3rd-4th century AD. The find is the first of its kind from the territory of Japan.

The ancient Roman coin of emperor Constantine (by ABC)
The ancient Roman coin of emperor Constantine (by ABC)

The Katsuren Castle itself existed in the period between 12-15 centuries. Each coin measures 1.6-2 centimetres in diameter. The designs and patterns on both sides are unclear due to abrasion. X-ray analysis revealed that they bear an image of emperor Constantine I and a soldier holding a spear. Other relics unearthed from the site include a coin from the 17th century Ottoman Empire, as well as five other round metallic items that also appear to be coins.

Excavations of Katsuren Castle (by ABC)
Excavations of Katsuren Castle (by ABC)

Okinawa’s trade with China and Southeast Asia was thriving at the time of the castle’s existence and the artefacts suggest historical link between Okinawa and the Western world. he coins will be displayed at Uruma City Yonagusuku Historical Museum in central Okinawa until Nov. 25.

(after ABC & The Japan Times)

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