About 300 gold coins from the late Roman Imperial era have been discovered on the site of an old theatre in northern Italy, the Ministry of Culture announced.

The perfectly-preserved coins date back to the 5th century. They were found in a stone urn in the Cressoni theatre basement in the city of Como.

“We do not yet know in detail the historical and cultural significance of this discovery but this area is a real treasure for our archeology. A discovery that fills me with pride,” Culture Minister Alberto Bonisoli said in a statement shared on Facebook.

The theatre, which opened in 1870 and was later turned into a cinema before closing in 1997, was due to be demolished to make way for the construction of a luxury residence. But work at the site will now be suspended to allow for further excavations, according to officials.

Meanwhile, the coins have been taken to a restoration laboratory in Milan, where experts are trying to find out more about their provenance.

So far, the historians have successfully separated 27 coins. The engravings featured on the coins suggest they were minted during the reigns of five different emperors: Honorius, Valentinian III, Leon I, Antonio, and Libio Severo.