Okinawa, Japan’s Katsuren castle has long been celebrated for its rich history (it’s a UNESCO world heritage site), but it seems that its past is a lot more complicated than previously believed. Archeologist Hiroyuki Miyagi found nine ancient Roman coins while excavating the Japanese ruins this month.
It was a completely unexpected discovery: Miyagi had only been planning to look at samurai armor but, from his past excavations in Italy and Egypt, was able to recognize the coins instantly. Through subsequent X-ray analysis, the Roman coins were dated to at least 400 AD. (There was also an Ottoman coin from 1687 located.) Studies of the site have been going on for the last three years, so it’s even more surprising the unlikely find only happened now.