THE WORLDPOST
11/15/2013 03:06 pm ET

Treasure Chest Discovered By Indonesian Oyster Gatherer Is Chock-Full Of Gold Coins

Pankaj & Insy Shah via Getty Images

Hundreds of people swarmed the swamps on the northern tip of Indonesia this week in search of buried booty after an oyster gatherer discovered a treasure chest in the village of Gampong Pande.

According to the Jakarta Post, a woman who was collecting oysters stumbled across a treasure chest in the Indonesian village Tuesday. When she broke open the box that was covered in coral and oyster shells, hundreds of gold coins spilled out.

Found near an ancient cemetery, the treasure chest is believed to have surfaced during the 2004 tsunami that devastated the Indonesian city of Banda Aceh, where Gampong Pande is located.

On Thursday, authorities stepped in and closed the site where the coins where discovered, pending a decision by the provincial government. Though city administration is asking residents to turn in any gold coins found and offering compensation, many have already been sold outright.

While the discovery of the treasure chest full of gold coins, or "dirham," surprised many local residents, the finding is not that unusual, given the location. Gampong Pande is one of the oldest villages in the region, and the area and the modern-day province of Aceh was once home to several ancient kingdoms.

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