3,422 ancient Carthaginian coins discovered off of Sicily
Italian archaeologists have retrieved a sunken treasure of 3,422 ancient bronze coins in the small Sicilian island of Pantelleria, they announced today. Discovered by chance during a survey to create an underwater archaeological itinerary,the coins have been dated between 264 and 241 BC.
At that time, Pantelleria, which lies about 70 miles southwest of Sicily, in the middle of the Sicily Strait, became a bone of contention between the Romans and Carthaginians.Rome captured the small Mediterranean island in the First Punic War in 255 BC, but lost it a year later. In 217 BC, in the Second Punic War, Rome finally regained the island, and even celebrated the event with commemorative coins and a holiday.