Roman find in Japan
The eyes of a visiting archaeologist lit up when he was shown the 10 tiny, tarnished discs that had sat unnoticed in storage for two and a half years at a dig on a southern Japan island. He recognised the “little round things” as coins, including a few likely dating to the Roman Empire. “I was so excited I almost forgot what I was there for, and the coins were all we talked about,” said Toshio Tsukamoto of the Gangoji Institute for Research of Cultural Property in Nara, an ancient Japanese capital near Kyoto. Experts suspect the coins, some dating back to the third and fourth centuries, may have arrived centuries later to a castle in Okinawa, via China or Southeast Asia, not as currency but as decoration or treasure.