Japanese scientists are now scratching their heads over an unusual discovery at a recent dig in the ruins of an ancient castle after finding ancient Roman coins. The discovery team found four copper coins in the soil beneath Katsuren Castle on Okinawa Island. What was originally thought to be a hoax turned out to be a mind-boggling mystery for the archaeologists.
Uruma city’s board of education made the announcement of the startling discovery, The Independent reported.
While the coins’ designs are not easily deciphered due to its age and quality erosion, x-ray analysis revealed that the image of Emperor Constantine I was visible in the their markings.
Researchers have also found six other coins reportedly dating back to the Ottoman Empire in the late 17th century since excavation began on the site in 2013.
The new finds however, seemed to come from a much earlier date, and could’ve at least come from 400 AD. The scientists have not offered any explanation how it was possible to have the ancient Roman and byzantine coins in the site.
Japanese ties with Europe during the period were not even thought to exist before the discovery. In ancient times, Katsuren Castle was the center of trading partnerships with China and other Asian countries.
Masaki Yokou, spokesperson of Uruma city’s board of education told CNN: “It is a strange and interesting find. We don’t think that there is a direct link between the Roman Empire and Katsuren Castle, but the discovery confirms how this region had trade relations with the rest of Asia.”
The coins which will be displayed at Uruma City museum on Okinawa until the end of November, will be analysed and tested further.