PASQUALE SORRENTINO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PASQUALE SORRENTINO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
This gold coin was minted by the Kingdom of the Lombards, an early medieval state located in present-day Italy. This coin dates from 750 AD, when the kingdom was ruled by Aistulf. The coin was discovered during excavations at the Abbey of San Vincenzo (Saint Vincent), at Isernia, north of Naples, Italy. The abbey, founded in 703 AD on the ruins of a 5th century Roman oratory, was burnt to the ground by the Saracens in 881 AD, and then rebuilt from 914 AD. In the 12th century, the abbey was moved a short distance away to a new location. The original abbey site was most recently excavated in the period 1999-2003.
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