Roman Coins in Ohio

Description: In 1963, a construction engineer found a small hoard of coins while excavating the north bank of the Ohio River during construction of the Sherman Minton Bridge for Interstate Highway 64 at the Falls of the Ohio, from New Albany, Ind., to Louisville, Ky. The coins were grouped as though they had originally been in a leather pouch that had long since disintegrated.

The discover kept most of the hoard for himself, but gave two of the coins to another engineer on the project. In 1997, the second engineer's widow brought these two to Troy McCormick, then manager of the new Falls of the Ohio Museum in Clarksville, Ind., not far from the find site. She donated them to the museum, where they remain today.

McCormick identified the smaller coin from a guide to Roman coins as a bronze of Claudius II, from 268 A.D. The larger coin has been identified by both Mark Lehman, president of Ancient Coins for Education, Inc., and Rev. Stephen A. Knapp, Senior Pastor at St. John Lutheran Church, Forest Park, IL, and a specialist in late Roman bronze coinage, as a follis of Maximinus II, from 312 or 313 A.D., despite McCormick's original identification of the coin as a 235 A.D. bronze of Maximinus I.