Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Divers find largest-ever Israeli cache of ancient gold coins

The largest cache of gold coins ever found in Israel was discovered by chance by divers at Caesarea.
The treasure includes at least 2,000 gold coins from the Fatimid period, approximately 1,000 years ago.
Most of the coins belong to the Caliph Al-Hakim, who ruled from 996 to 1021, and to his son, Al-Zahir (1021–1036), and were minted in Egypt and North Africa. The earliest coin in the cache is a quarter-dinar minted in Palermo, Sicily in the second half of the 9th century.

The latest coin dates to 1036, so it can be concluded that the ship sank around that year, although until excavations are carried out around the spot where the cache was found, the date is difficult to determine.
Caesarea was a harbor city founded by King Herod the Great about 2,000 years ago. At the time the coins were minted, the city was a bustling, prosperous port that played an important role in the Fatimid's trading network.

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