Archaeological Triumph: Israeli Researchers Uncover Treasure Trove of Crusade-Era Gold Coins

Israeli archaeologists have found buried treasure: more than 100 gold dinar coins from the time of the Crusades, bearing the names and legends of local sultans, blessings and more — and worth as much as $500,000.

The joint team from Tel Aviv University and Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority were working at Apollonia National Park, an ancient Roman settlement on the coast used by the Crusaders between 1241 and 1265, when they literally found a pot of gold.

“All in all, we found some 108 dinals and quarter dinars, which makes it one of the largest gold coin hoards discovered in a medieval site in the land of Israel,” Prof. Oren Tal, chairman of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Archaeology, told FoxNews.com.

Image: A stash of gold coins was found buried at Apllonia National Park, hidden away by Crusaders in the mid 1200s, archaeologists said. (Matti Yohananof)

The Christian order of the Knights Hospitaller had taken up residence in the castle in Apollonia; it was one of their most important fortresses in the area. The hoard of coins was buried on the eve of the site’s downfall after a long siege by a large and well-prepared Muslim army.

Since its destruction in late April 1265 it was never resettled. As the destruction of the well-fortified castle grew near, one of the Crusader’s leaders sought to hide his stash in a potsherd, possibly to retrieve it later on.

[pullquote]

“It was in a small juglet, and it was partly broken. The idea was to put something broken in the ground and fill it with sand, in order to hide the gold coins within,” Tal told FoxNews.com. “If by chance somebody were to find the juglet, he won’t excavate it, he won’t look inside it to find the gold coins.”

“Once we started to sift it, the gold came out.”

The hoard of coins themselves — found on June 21, 2012, by Mati Johananoff, a student of TAU Department of Archaeology — date to the times of the Fatimid empire, which dominated northern Africa and parts of the Middle East at the time. Tal estimates their date to the 10th and 11th centuries, although they were circulated in the 13th century.

Image: A stash of gold coins was found buried at Apllonia National Park, hidden away by Crusaders in the mid 1200s, archaeologists said. (Matti Yohananof)

“Some were minted some 250 to 300 years before they were used by the Hospitaller knights,” he explained. The coins are covered in icons and inscriptions: the names and legends of local sultans, Tal said, as well as blessings.

Some also bear a date, and even a mint mark, a code that indicates where it was minted, whether Alexandria, Tripoli, or another ancient mint.

“Fatimid coins are very difficult to study because they are so informative,” Tal told FoxNews.com. “The legends are very long, the letters are sometimes difficult to decipher.”

The coins are clearly of great value, both historically and intrinsically, though putting a price tag on them is no easy feat: Value is a flexible thing, Tal explained. Israeli newspaper Haaretz pegged the find at $100,000. Tal noted that Fatimid dinars sell for $3,000 to $5,000 apiece, meaning the stash could be worth closer to half a million.

Once his team has finished deciphering the coins and decoding their inscriptions, they will be transferred to a museum. But with such a valuable find, there’s already a quarrel between two archaeologically oriented museums over which will host them.

Related Posts

Daring Moves: Carrying the Enormous 105-Ton Komatsu D475 Bulldozer (Video)

In the world of heavy machinery, few feats are as impressive as the transportation of colossal equipment. Among these, the monumental task of moving the 105-ton Komatsu…

viết 5 tiêu đề: In a Splash of Cuteness: Baby Elephant’s Bathtub Dive Prompts Mom’s Rescue Mission

Emily Blυпt Says She Feels 'Lighter Thaп Air' as She Tυrпs 41 After Her First Oscar Nomiпatioп

Emily Blυпt Says She Feels ‘Lighter Thaп Air’ as She Tυrпs 41 After Her First Oscar Nomiпatioп

In an interview for PEOPLE’s annual Oscar portfolio, Emily Blunt, who celebrates her 41st birthday on Friday, reflects on feeling ‘peaceful’ in her life

70 millioп millioпaire creatυres iп Egypt reveal dark secrets

70 millioп millioпaire creatυres iп Egypt reveal dark secrets

In what is described as Egypt’s “dark secret,” a staggering […]

Doυble Happiпess: Actress Seyi Johпsoп celebrates the birth of twiпs with tears streamiпg dowп her face

Doυble Happiпess: Actress Seyi Johпsoп celebrates the birth of twiпs with tears streamiпg dowп her face

Celebrating the birth of their twins, actress Seyi Johnson and husband Adeniyi Johnson released a touching video.

Babies are famoυs for creatiпg iпterestiпg games that briпg joy to everyoпe

Babies are famoυs for creatiпg iпterestiпg games that briпg joy to everyoпe

Babies are known for creating amusing games that bring joy to eʋeryone! Their playful antics and innocent antics neʋer fail to elicit laughter. With their boundless energy and curiosity, babies often…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *