Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Lost Roman Province of Occidentia-Part two

Lets talk about coins turning up in odd places.  It is a common occurrence.  The best survey on the subject was by Epstein who looked at 40 accounts of Pre-Columbian coinage in North and South America.  He noted a few early examples, but a remarkable increase in the post World War II era....corresponding to a time of dramatic increase in American visitors to places where Roman coins could be purchased cheaply.  He felt that all such Pre-Columbian Greek and Roman coins were either lost by collectors, or in a few cases were examples of fraud.

Roman coins have turned up in pig pens.  And in the ruins of a Louisiana bus station.  And in a Los Angeles parking meter!

A couple of cases warrant specific discussion.
The earliest account of a Roman coin in the New World comes from Panama in 1533.  Unfortunately this story of a gold coin of Augustus turning up has no further mention in history, and is to be found only in a rather fanciful work that recounts various miraculous events occurring around the birth of King Ferdinand.

More at Detritus of Empire