A British policeman has discovered an ancient crime: In the soil of Somerset in the west of Britain he found 614 real Roman coins? and 56 fake ones. Jarrett Lobell writes in the latest issue of the US magazine Archeology (Volume 55, No. 4). The off-duty officer had been on a treasure hunt with a metal detector when he discovered the 4th-century find. So far, only forged coins from the late fourth and fifth centuries had been known in Britain.

The find now proves that counterfeiters have been at work earlier, around 365. The discovery is therefore unusual, explains Stephen Minnitt of Somerset County Museum, because the facsimiles have the same or even a higher silver content than the real coins.

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