Archaeologists said Saturday they have unearthed a large Roman-era burial ground in the western Austrian city of Wels that contains at least 50 skeletons, numerous urns and coins.
The graveyard, believed to date to 2 or 3 B.C., was discovered about a year ago during excavation to build an office complex and an underground parking garage, said Renate Miglbauer, the archaeologist in charge of the site.
She and other colleagues decided not to publicize the find until now for fear of attracting grave robbers, Miglbauer said, calling the discovery "a stroke of luck."
The team uncovered oil lamps, pottery flasks designed to hold perfume and numerous coins, which the Romans buried with their dead in the belief that payment was necessary to enter the afterlife, Miglbauer said.
Authorities have secured the site and excavation work is continuing.