1,100-Year-Old Hoard of Islamic Gold Coins Found in Israel

The rare gold coin hoard that was dug up in Israel is in excellent condition

1,100-Year-Old Hoard of Islamic Gold Coins Found in Israel
Discovered coins Israel Antiquities Authority

A trove of 425 pure gold coins was dug up at an archeological site in Israel. The Islamic coins are in excellent condition, and link ties between the Abbaside Caliphate and the Byzantine empire.

The discovery was announced on Monday by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). 

For quite reasonable reasons, the precise location of the dig was not disclosed, explained the Times of Israel.


Pure gold

The dig that discovered the trove of coins is made up of a group of young volunteers who will soon join the mandatory army service in Israel. 

"It was amazing. I dug in the ground and when I excavated the soil, saw what looked like very thin leaves," said teen Oz Cohen per the Times of Israel. "When I looked again I saw these were gold coins. It was really exciting to find such a special and ancient treasure." 

1,100-Year-Old Hoard of Islamic Gold Coins Found in Israel
The coins are in excellent condition, Source: Israel Antiquities Authority

Liat Nadav-Ziv and Dr. Elie Haddad, the excavation's directors, explained that the gold coins would point towards international trade from back in the day and that such a discovery is not something that happens regularly. 

"Finding gold coins, certainly in such a considerable quantity, is extremely rare. We almost never find them in archaeological excavations, given that gold has always been extremely valuable, melted down and reused from generation to generation," the directors explained in a statement.

"The coins, made of pure gold that does not oxidize in air, were found in excellent condition, as if buried the day before. Their finding may indicate that international trade took place between the area’s residents and remote areas," they continued.

1,100-Year-Old Hoard of Islamic Gold Coins Found in Israel
The thin gold coins, Source: Israel Antiquities Authority

The total amount of the 425 gold coins amassed to quite a sum for that time in history, roughly the end of the ninth century, said IAA coin expert Dr. Robert Kool


And as Dr. Kool went on to say "This rare treasure will certainly be a major contribution to research, as finds from the Abbasid period in Israel are relatively few. Hopefully, the study of the hoard will tell us more about a period of which we still know very little."

1,100-Year-Old Hoard of Islamic Gold Coins Found in Israel
A piece of exceptionally high-quality gold on one of the broken coins, Source: Israel Antiquities Authority
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