Rains Uncover Ancient Sassanid Gold Coins in Iraq

January 24th, 2013 by

Part of the 63 gold coins from the Sassanid Empire found in Al Aziziya (Ali al-Alak/AFP)

Part of the 63 gold coins from the Sassanid Empire found in Al Aziziyah (Ali al-Alak/AFP)

BAGHDAD: Heavy rains at a archaeological site in east-central Iraq recently uncovered 63 gold coins of the Sassanid Empire, dating from 226 to 651 AD. Some of the coins carry the image of what is believed to be King Shapur II, who reigned from 309-379 AD. The Sassanids were the major rival and enemy of the Romans, and fought them for control of the Middle East.

Local residents stumbled upon the coins after heavy rains had washed away earth at the Tel Ghariri archaeological dig near Al Aziziyah, in Wasit province. This area is the middle of the Tigris River valley.  The people who discovered the pure gold coins promptly handed them over to authorities, and they are now undergoing scrutiny at the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

Abbas al-Quraishi, Director of Artifact Retrieval for the Ministry, declared the coins “in very good state, despite passing long years at that site,” and said the coins looked “as if they were minted only yesterday.”

( story from al-shorfa.com )