Ancient Roman Coins Found In Japan
These six coins are of bronze composition. These coins were reported on September 26, 2016 and were unearthed at the ruins f the Katsuren castle UNESCO world heritage site in Uruma, Okinawa. this is an island prefecture.
The information regarding the context in which each coin was found is currently unavailable.
This information is going to be critical since one of the coins is reported to be from the Ottoman Empire and is dated 1687. The balance of the coins are reported to be 16 to 20 mm bronze coins.
At least one of the Roman coins depicts Roman emperor Constantine I aka "The Great" on the obverse, with soldier holding a spear on the reverse. At least five of the coins were reported to be too worn to be read but do appear to be Roman in origin.
Local experts have suggested these coins could date from about 300 C.E. to 400 C.E. It is possible that these Roman coins arrived at the castle as late as the time of the aforementioned Ottoman coin. Another possibility is that the Roman coins were used in trade at a much earlier time period. The exact location of their discovery and the context in which they were found will become critical for this precise reason.
Katsuren Castle appears to have been an active facility for a very long time. The castle is known to have traded with China and other Asian nations during 14th and 15th centuries Other artifacts recently excavated at the site include Chinese coins and ceramics as well as Japanese artifacts, likely used by contemporary castle inhabitants.
Roman coins dating from the first century C.E. onward have been found in China, likely due to trade along the Silk Road and sea routes. A coin of Roman Emperor Maximian and medallions from the reigns of Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius have been found in Vietnam.
These finds are from the same period as is the Han Dynasty, the period as that of the Roman coins now being unearthed in Japan. The recently discovered Roman coins are set to be put on display until November 24, 2016 at the Urema City Yongagusuku Historical Museum.
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