Found in the Ground

From the Guardian:

4,000 coins found in Roman treasure trove in Swiss orchard

A trove of more than 4,000 bronze and silver coins dating back to ancient Rome, uncovered this summer in the orchard of a fruit and vegetable farmer, has been described as one of the biggest treasures of this kind found in Switzerland.

The huge hoard of coins, buried about 1,700 years ago and weighing 15kg (33lb), was discovered in Ueken, in Switzerland’s northern canton of Aargau, after the farmer spotted some shimmering green coins on a molehill in his cherry orchard.

He guessed the coins were Roman, following an archaeological discovery a few months earlier, of remains of an early Roman settlement in the nearby town of Frick. He contacted the regional archaeological service , which later labelled it one of the largest such finds for Switzerland.

On Thursday the archaeological service announced that after months of digs, 4,166 coins had been found at the site, most in excellent condition.

The coins’ imprints remained legible, and an expert dated the money to the period stretching from the reign of Emperor Aurelian (270-275) to the rule of Maximian (286-305), the most recent coins made in 294.

From the Telegraph:

Secret pagan basilica in Rome emerges from the shadows after 2,000 years

A mysterious Roman basilica built for the worship of an esoteric pagan cult and now lying hidden more than 40ft below street level has opened to the public for the first time.

The basilica, the only one of its kind in the world, was excavated from solid tufa volcanic rock on the outskirts of the imperial capital in the first century AD.

Lavishly decorated with stucco reliefs of gods, goddesses, panthers, winged cherubs and pygmies, it was discovered by accident in 1917 during the construction of a railway line from Rome to Cassino, a town to the south. An underground passageway caved in, revealing the entrance to the hidden chamber.

A painstaking restoration that has been going on for years has now reached the point where the 40ft-long basilica can be opened to visitors.

The subterranean basilica, which predates Christianity, was built by a rich Roman family who were devotees of a little-known cult called Neopythagoreanism.

Originating in the first century BC, it was a school of mystical Hellenistic philosophy that preached asceticism and was based on the writings of Pythagoras and Plato.