Archeologists unearth massive Crusader coin cache

ByJPOST.COM STAFF
July 10, 2012 16:16

After 3-year-long excavation, TAU, Nature Parks Authorities archeologists discover 108 gold coins valued at over $100,000.




Gold coin discovered in Apollonia

Gold coin discovered in Apollonia . (photo credit: REUTERS/Baz Ratner)

Archeologists from Tel Aviv University and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority last week unearthed one of the largest gold caches ever discovered, the result of a massive three-year-long excavation.

Searching underneath the tiles of a room inside what was formerly a Crusader fortress in Apollonia, a student at the university unearthed 108 gold coins minted around the year 1,000 CE in Egypt. The discovery is valued at over $100,000. During the course of the excavation, archeologists also discovered rare glass utensils, shards, arrowheads and catapult stones.

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Tel Aviv University Prof. Oren Tal stated his belief that the coins were buried deliberately by the owner, who intended to retrieve the stash at a later date.

“I think the stash was deliberately buried in a partly broken vessel,” said Tal, “which was filled with sand and buried under the floor tiles so if anyone were to discover it, he would simply believe it to be a broken pot, and ignore it.”

Tal, who headed the digging team, added that “the findings indicate a prolonged siege and a harsh battle that took place at the site.”

The crusaders used Apollonia, then known as Arsur, as a stronghold city in the 13th century. The city passed between Christian and Muslim hands, and was eventually captured and razed by the Mamluks.

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