A team of Israeli archaeologists has unearthed one of the largest hoards of gold coins ever found in the country.
The treasure, more than 100 gold pieces weighing about 400 grams, is estimated to be worth more than $100,000.
The coins were found hidden in a partly broken pottery vessel at the Appollonia National Park near Herzliya, the site where archaeologists believe the ancient Crusader town of Apollonia-Arsuf once stood.
The hoard includes 108 gold coins, among them 93 weigh four grams each, and 15 weigh about 1 gram each. The archaeologists suggest that the gold was part of someone’s family treasure or business investment.
The coins were probably minted in Egypt about 250 years prior to their burial under the floor tiles of the 13th century CE fortress that has been under excavation for more than 30 years.
In addition to the gold treasure, the archaeologists found a large cache of arrowheads – hundreds, in fact – and other weaponry, including stones used in catapults. They said the find indicated a fierce battle had taken place at the time the Mameluks seized the area from the Crusaders.
The Crusader fortress had been uncovered at the site some time ago, along with remains of a port city dating back to the time of the Phoenicians.
The team also found the remains of a Roman villa, a well-preserved market street from the Early Islamic period and a massive gate complex.