Hungry Badger May Have Unearthed 200 Roman-Era Coins Hidden In Cave

(Photo by Boaz Zissu/The Hebrew University via Getty Images)

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Over 200 ancient Roman coins were unearthed in northwest Spain due to a badger burrowing for food and shelter during a snowstorm in January 2021.

Local resident Roberto Garcia found the artifacts, called an “exceptional find” by archeologists, in the Spanish cave back in April 2021, CBS News reported Tuesday. Garcia contacted a group of archeologists led by Alfonso Fanjul, who said the badger had unearthed them while looking for food or making a nest, according to Smithsonian Magazine.

When they arrived at the cave, archeologists found the hole that led to the badger’s nest, around which many ancient coins were laying. (RELATED: Buried Viking Treasure From The 10th Century Discovered On The Isle of Man)

“We were shocked to find 90 coins just in the floor outside a nest of a badger,” Fanjul told USA Today. “We didn’t know how many could be underground or even if we could find more valuable objects.”

By the time archeologists finished excavating the site, they had unearthed 209 ancient Roman coins dating from 200 to 400 A.D., the outlet reported. Fanjul said he thinks refugees from that time period hid the the coins, telling CNN, “We think it’s a reflection of the social and political instability which came along with the fall of Rome and the arrival of groups of barbarians to northern Spain.”

Additional excavations by the archeological team for research purposes are planned for the site, Smithsonian Magazine reported. Fanjul told CNN there may be more artifacts at the site that could help researchers gain more insight into the happenings of that time period.

The coins will be put on display at the Archeological Museum of Asturias in Spain after they have been cleaned, according to Smithsonian Magazine.