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that they had found something unusual: a bunch of ancient Roman coins, from the time of the Caesars.The coins were discovered at the site of a castle in Okinawa, hundreds of miles southwest of the Japanese mainland (and about 6,000 miles from Rome), according to the .However, an X-ray analysis of the dime-sized coins showed some were embossed with Roman letters and possibly the image of Emperor Constantine I and a soldier holding a spear.Several others dated from a later period — the 17th century Ottoman empire.Starting in 1936 the Eagle reverse was replaced with an eagle holding a wreathed swastika, similar to the 2 Reichsmark.The Eagle and Swastika 5 Reichsmark was struck from 1936 to 1939.On one side, they bear the likeness of Roman emperor Constantine the Great, who died in 372; on the other, a spear-bearing soldier.
X-ray analysis shows that some of the Roman the coins, dating from 300 to 400 AD, appear to be stamped with an image of Constantine the Great and a soldier holding a spear. The coins are on display in Okinawa at Uruma City Yonagusuku Historical Museum until 25 November.
The find suggests “a link between Okinawa and the Western world,” the local board of education said.
While most of Japan remained isolated from foreign influence until the 19th century, Okinawa—an island equidistant to China and Japan—served as an important trade route with the rest of Asia.
The coins appear to depict Constantine I, who ruled Rome from 324 to 337.
Officials think the four coins likely made their way to Japan some time in the Middle Ages, when trade between the country and the West was reaching a high point.The building stood from the 12th century to the mid-15th century, when it fell to the army of Ryukyu after the castle's lord, Amawari, plotted against the king.