Archaeologists in Spain said that a badger lead to finding a treasure trove of 200 Roman-era coins after they were dug up in a cave while the animal was searching for food.
The coins were discovered in April 2021 in the La Cuesta cave in Bercio, which is located in northwestern Spain in the Asturias region.
The details of what they are calling“an exceptional find,” are outlined in the Journal of Prehistory and Archaeology that was published last month by Madrid’s Autonomous University.
The journal stated that the coins were first spotted by a local who was exploring the area and alerted the authorities when they saw the coins.
When archaeologists examined the site, it appeared, according to the way the hole was dug, that a bagger dug the hole revealing the coins.
According to CBS, the archaeologists wrote, “On the floor of the cave… in the sand likely dug up by badger at the entrance to its sett, we found the coins with more inside,” after finding 209 coins dating back to between the 3rd and the 5th century AD.
They believe the bagger was in the cave searching for food due to a rare blizzard snowstorm that occurred in January 2021. Officials called it “the most intense storm in the last 50 years.”
At that time, many animals struggled to find berries, worms, and other insects to eat, which lead to them venturing underground to look for food.
Archaeologists said that most of the coins were Roman-era coins that originated from the north and the eastern countries near the Mediterranean sea.
The researchers told El Pais the one minted in London was one of the most well preserved coins and is “bronze, weighing between eight and 10 grams, with an approximate 4% silver.”
“The quantity of coins recovered, as well as the undoubted archaeological interest of the transition to the early medieval period, make the hoard discovered at Bercio an exceptional find,” they wrote.
This is the second time in the past thirty days there has been a discovery of Roman-era coins in Europe. In December, Israeli researchers found ain a shipwreck off the ancient port of Caesarea.