Spanish coins that predate Christopher Columbus by 200 years found deep in the Utah desert

Spanish treasure that predates the arrival of Columbus by 200 years has been found in a US national park.

The two coins, one minted in Madrid in 1660 and the other made around the 1200s, were found lying on the floor at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah.

Their presence in the desert remains unexplained and no information has been released about whether they were found with other artifacts.

Spanish explorers arrived in Mexico in the 1500s and began exploring north, although there is no record of them being in America at the time the coins were made.

He took them home and, after realizing they were old Spanish coins, returned them to the park.  

'Based on the design we're very confident that one of the coins - the larger one - is called the 16 maravedi.

t's a mystery how such old coins have turned up in an area that wasn't visited by Spanish explorers until 1776.

However, archaeologists are working on four main theories.

They may have been left by early Spanish settlers or explorers, traded with native American tribes and then lost in the canyon, or someone brought a really old coin to the continent.

If the first is the case, archaeologist Harmon said that's really exciting as there is little documentation of early Spanish settlement.