Israeli researchers have discovered the unique collection of 425 complete gold coins. On Monday, the archaeologists have announced their discovery took place during salvage excavations near the central city of Yavne.
The discovery of early Islamic gold coins made the headlines of the local media. In fact, the coins were among the largest caches of ancient coins found in Israel. According to the archaeologists, such discoveries are rare. In 2015, amateur divers found around 2,000 gold coins off the coast of the ancient port city of Caesarea dating to the Fatimid period in the 10th and 11th centuries.
The recently found collection of 425 pure gold coins, most dating to the Abbasid period around 1,100 years ago. According to the statement made jointly by the Israel Antiquities Authorities archaeologists Liat Nadav-Ziv and Elie Haddad, Islamic coins are “extremely rare” find.
The trove, which was unearthed by youth volunteers, also included hundreds of smaller clippings from gold coins that would have served as smaller denominations.
According to Robert Kool, a coin expert with the antiquities authority, initial analysis indicates the coins date from the late 9th century, considered the golden age of the Abbasid Caliphate that controlled most of the Near East and North Africa.
“Hopefully the study of the hoard will tell us more about a period of which we still know very little,” Kool said and added that one of the cuttings was a fragment of a gold solidus of the Byzantine Emperor Theophilos minted in Constantinople.
The rarest discovery gives to the archaeologists the material evidence of the continuous connections between the two rival empires during this period.