AN exceptional treasure trove of Roman coins buried for centuries in a cave in northern Spain has been unearthed thanks to a hungry badger.
The hoard of coins dating from between the third and fifth centuries were discovered in a cave outside Grado in the northern region of Asturias last spring, just feet away from a badger’s den.
Experts believe that the badger dug up the ‘largest treasure trove of Roman coins found in northern Spain’ as it foraged deeper for food during the harsh conditions of Storm Filomena last January.
The coins were forged in destinations across the Roman Empire and the largest coin is believed to have been forged in London, weighing more than 8 grams and made from 4% silver.
Researchers believe the coins may have been hidden there during a time of political instability when the Roman hold on Iberia was crumbling as the Visigoths gained ground.
Alfonso Fanjul Peraza told El Pais newspaper: “The accumulation of significant finds could – with caution – be seen as a response to the intense conflict experienced in the border territory.”
The archaeologist wants to continue to explore the area in the hope of finding more buried treasure.
“We want to know if it was a one-off hiding place or if there was a group of humans living there,” he said.