A hungry badger appears to have stumbled across the largest collection of Roman coins found in Northern Spain

A badger fawn (Meles meles) is hand-fed by a keeper.
Researchers believe the badger came across the coins while searching for food last winter. Jonas Walzberg/picture alliance via Getty Images
  • Northern Spain’s largest collection of Roman coins were most likely discovered by a hungry badger. 
  • Archaeologists said 209 coins from between the third and fifth centuries were found near the badger’s den. 
  • The badger might have come across them in the La Cuesta cave while searching for food last winter. 

A hungry badger appears to have found the most extensive collection of Roman coins found in Northern Spain, according to a report recently published in a Spanish archaeological journal.

The BBC reported that the trove of 209 pieces was found close to the badger’s den in Grado, Asturias. Archaeologists believe the animal found them while desperately searching for food last winter during a massive winter storm. 

The animal burrowed into a crack in a rock in the La Cuesta cave and dug out the coins. Since the animal had no use for them, it left them in front of its den. 

Roberto García, a local man, later came across the badger’s coin collection and showed them to two archaeologists. 

“When we arrived, we found the hole that led to the badger’s nest, and the ground around it full of coins,” dig director and researcher Alfonso Fanjul told CNN

The coins are from between the third and fifth centuries, the BBC reported. 

Fanjul told CNN that the badger dug out around 90 of the 209 coins, and archeologists dug out the rest. 

He told the outlet the coins were likely originally hidden by refugees.

“We think it’s a reflection of the social and political instability which came along with the fall of Rome and the arrival of groups of barbarians to northern Spain,” he said. 

The coins are being cleaned and will be displayed at the Archaeological Museum of Asturias, Fanjul told CNN.