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Ancient Gold Found In Toilet Hole Leads To Investigation

By Kitco News
Tuesday December 2, 2014 10:54 AM

(Kitco News) - Although the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow might be elusive, one at the bottom of a soon-to-be toilet pit was a reality, at least briefly for four laborers in India.

News reports throughout India have reported that since Monday, a total of 93 ancient 200-year old Indian coins have been recovered by the Archaeology Survey of India in a village in the southern part of the country.

According to the International Business Times and the Bangalore Mirror, a local resident of the village hired four laborers to dig an eight-foot hole near his home to be used as a toilet. The workers found the pot of ancient coins after digging to a depth of about five feet; however, instead of informing the owner of the find, the workers reburied the gold and told the homeowner that they were unable to finish the work that day.

Later that evening, the men returned to the work site and recovered the buried treasure; from there they made their way to a nearby town and took a coin to a pawn broker to determine its value. The media reports went on to say that the pawn broker sent the workers away, telling them that the coin was a fake and worthless.

However, the pawn broker’s claim was a ruse. After the men left, he called the police and informed them that workers had found an ancient coin. The police caught up with the men who first admitted that they had only eight coins but under further questioning revealed that they uncovered 43 coins.

After confiscating the coins, the police then contacted the ASI, who came to investigate the area. The archaeology department discovered that the area is near the Venupolaswamy temple, which at one time was a popular site. The department officials speculated that more coins could be buried in the area and after further digging, recovered 50 more coins.

The exact date and value of the coins is still to be determined but the reports said that after initial observations, it appears that they are from the 18th and 19th century when the area was controlled by Hyder Ali, ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore.

The newspaper accounts didn’t provide any information on charges the laborers may face or if the homeowner will be compensated for the coins. The district administrator for the department of archaeology said in media interviews that the ASI will look for potential owners of the gold and if nobody comes forward with proof then the coins will become government property.

It is also unclear if the ASI will continue to excavate the area in search of more coins.

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By Neils Christensen of Kitco News; nchristensen@kitco.com



Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in precious metal products, commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.
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