Israeli archaeologists discover 900-year-old gold coins, earring
JERUSALEM, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- A rare hoard of 24 gold coins and a gold earring, dated 900 years ago, was discovered at the Caesarea National Park near the Mediterranean coast, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) reported on Monday.
The coins and the earring were concealed in a small bronze vessel in the side of a well located in a house dated to the Abbasid and Fatimid Caliphates periods.
Archaeologists estimate that the concealment of the coins and earring is associated with one of the dramatic events in the history of Caesarea at the time - the Crusader conquest of the city in year 1101.
According to the testimonies, most of the inhabitants of Caesarea were massacred by the army of Baldwin I, king of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem.
It can be assumed that the owner who hid the treasure and his family were perished in the massacre or were sold into slavery, and therefore could not retrieve their gold.
The earring and the gold coins were discovered as a part of the large excavation and conservation project being carried out at the site, at an investment of 150 million new shekels (about 40 million U.S. dollars).
This earring and coins are added to two discoveries of the same period that were found nearby - gold and silver jewelry found about 50 years ago and bronze vessels discovered in the 90s.