Heavy rain reveals gold coins of great antiquity

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By Khayoun Saleh

Heavy downpours have removed earth from an ancient mound in southern Iraq, bringing to surface 62 gold coins some of which date to the Babylonian period, the Antiquities Department said in a statement.

The statement, faxed to the newspaper, said the coins were picked up by the inhabitants of a village close to an ancient site in the Province of Wasit.

Wasit, of which Kut is the provincial capital, is extremely rich in antiquities but its ancient sites, like thousands others across the country, remain unprotected.

The statement said the villagers passed the coins to the provincial authorities who in their turn passed them to the Iraq Museum.

Some of the coins belong to the Sasanian Period, a Persian dynasty that ruled Iraq from the third century until the coming of the Arabs in the seventh century.

The coins are of great value, according to the statement, and are being analyzed by museum experts.