An Indonesian woman was hunting oysters in a swampy area of Banda Aceh recently, when she found a wooden chest encrusted with coral and oyster shells. When she broke it open hundreds of ancient gold coins spilled out into the mud. Most of the village raced to the scene with shovels and hoes, recovering more gold coins. The Jakarta Post reports that the coins were sold to local gold shops and to gold traders who rushed to the area, at Rp 350,000 (US$30.15) for a coin the size of a button and Rp 800,000 for a coin measuring the size of a current Rp 100 coin.
The paper reports that the area is the site of ancient tombs which were destroyed in the 2004 tsunami. The village and surrounding area was a thriving community during the age of the first Islamic Kingdom of Aceh, but lack of government funds have prevented the area from being conserved as a historical site.