Image for representational purposes

Four labourers chanced upon a pot of gold coins while excavating land near an ancient temple in a village in southern India.

According to a Bangalore Mirror report dated 2nd December, 2014, the gold was discovered by labourers hired by a local resident to excavate land in order to make a pit as an outlet for a toilet, at his house in the village.

"The labourers were given the task of digging out eight feet of the land, but were 'forced' to stop at five feet when they came across a pot. When the curious workers opened the pot, they were surprised to see gold coins in it. They covered the pit with the dug-out mud telling the owner that they had some personal issues and could not work that day," states the BM report.

The workers then returned in the evening, collected a few coins and made their way to a nearby town called Chamarajanagar (Karnataka, India) where one of them approached a pawnbroker to assess the value of the coin. The pawnbroker had a look, and sent him away saying that the coin was not an original one and hence worthless.

He then called up the local police to inform them that an ancient coin was found by a few labourers. Police rushed to the spot on Monday (1<sup>st December) in search of the labourers.

When questioned about the coins, the labourers denied at first and later admitted to finding just eight coins. Upon further interrogation, they revealed the pot with 43 gold coins.

According to the archaeological department officials, who were called by the cops, the site of the find was next to the Venupolaswamy temple, which was popular in earlier times. They realised that there could be more such coins in the vicinity. Further digging in the neighbourhood produced 50 additional coins.

Experts are yet to determine the period of the coins but initial observations give the impression that most, if not all the coins, are from the late 18th century and early 19th century when this part of the country was under Hyder Ali - ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore.