File photo Actors, dressed as Roman pretorian guards, holding their helmets in a parade during a show reviving the ancient Roman circus in the central Spanish village of Banos de Valdearados 22 August 2004. (REUTERS/Felix Ordonez)
Archaeologists have been stunned by the discovery of Roman coins in the ruins of a Japanese castle.
The coins were excavated from the ruins of Katsuren Castle in Okinawa Prefecture, according to the Japan Times, noting that this is the first discovery of its kind. The quote from the Council of directors of Education in the city of Uruma, the Japan Times reports that the four copper coins are believed to be from the third to the fourth century.
The castle, which existed from the 12th to the 15th century, is a part of the UNESCO world heritage site.
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X-ray analysis of the coins has apparently revealed the image of Emperor Constantine I, and a soldier with a spear. Each coin measures 0.6 cm 0.8 cm in diameter, according to the report.
Uruma the Board of Education noted that the Okinawa’s trade with China and Southeast Asia was thriving during the castle’s existence and described the coins as “valuable historical material to suggest a link between Okinawa and the Western world.”
Other artifacts discovered at the site include a 17th-century coin of the Ottoman Empire. Five other round metal items that appear to be coins were also found.
Experts speculated that the coins were sent to Japan via trade routes that linked the West to Asia, according to CNN. Masaki Yokou, a spokeswoman for Uruma the Board of Education, told CNN that there is no direct relations between the Roman Empire and the castle are thought to have existed.