Ancient Roman coins found buried under ruins of Japanese castle leave archaeologists baffled


Active Member
Nov 20, 2008
The result of a coin collector in medieval japan?

Archaeologists were left baffled by the "strange" discovery of ancient Roman coins buried in the ruins of a castle in Japan.

The four copper coins were retrieved from soil beneath Katsuren Castle on Okinawa Island, and were originally thought to be a hoax before their true provenance was revealed.

The designs on the coins are difficult to decipher as they have been eroded over time, but x-ray analysis revealed several of the relics bore the image of Emperor Constantine I.

Since excavation on the site began in 2013, researchers have also found a further six coins which may be dated back to the Ottoman Empire in the late 17th century.

The Roman coins appear to be much older, dating back to at least 400AD according to estimates.

The board of education in the Japanese city of Uruma announced the discovery, and said the story of how the coins came to arrive in Japan remained shrouded in doubt.


Jul 23, 2008
Unusual but I wouldn't say it is all that umbelievable. The Roman Empire stretched as far as the outskirts of Persia and Armenia so trade could easily have bought the coins into China and from there to Japan.


Well-Known Member
Sep 18, 2010
The coins could have been used in inter-cultural trade, or piracy along the silk road long after the Roman empire fell, and then found their way to Japan. Gold, silver, and copper hold there value throughout the ages.
  • Like
Reactions: kharo88