Medieval caliphate golden coin treasure discovery in Mediterranean

This video says about itself:

Largest Trove of Gold Coins Ever Discovered In Israel

17 February 2015

A group of divers in Israel has stumbled upon the largest hoard of gold coins ever discovered in the country. The divers reported the find to the Israel Antiquities Authority, and nearly 2,000 coins dating back to the Fatimid period, or the eleventh century, were salvaged by the authority’s Marine Archaeology Unit. The find was unearthed from the seabed of the ancient harbor in Caesarea National Park, according to a press release from the Israel Antiquities Authority.

“The discovery of such a large hoard of coins that had such tremendous economic power in antiquity raises several possibilities regarding its presence on the seabed,” said Kobi Sharvit, director of the Marine Archaeology Unit of the Israel Antiquities Authority, in the release. “There is probably a shipwreck there of an official treasury boat which was on its way to the central government in Egypt with taxes that had been collected.”

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Israeli divers find ‘priceless’ underwater treasure in the Mediterranean

2,000 gold coins were found, thought to be more than 1,000 years old

Zachary Davies Boren

Thursday 19 February 2015

A ‘priceless’ trove of gold coins has been discovered by scuba divers off the coast of Israel’s Mediterranean coast.

The estimated 2,000 gold coins, found on the seabed in the ancient harbour in Caesarea, are thought be more than 1,000 years old, and made visible by recent winter storms

They have been identified as “multiple denominations” used in the Fatimid Caliphate, the Islamic dynasty that ruled much of the Middle East and North Africa for hundreds of years around the time of the 10th century.

The Israeli Antiquities Authorities said the trove was “so valuable that it’s priceless”.

Kobi Sharvit, the director of the Authority’s marine archeology division, said the area would be excavated in an attempt to determine the coins’ origin.

The BBC reports him as saying: “There is probably a shipwreck there of an official treasury boat which was on its way to the central government in Egypt with taxes that had been collected.

“Perhaps the treasure of coins was meant to pay the salaries of the Fatimid military garrison which was stationed in Caesarea and protected the city.

“Another theory is that the treasure was money belonging to a large merchant ship that traded with the coastal cities and the port on the Mediterranean Sea and sank there.”

Read more:

Largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon coins found in recent years goes on display at British Museum

Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The divers who stumbled upon the 9kg ancient trove first thought the coins were toys, but upon realising what they discovered they took a handful back to their club.

The coins are now the property of the Israeli state and the divers were given no finders’ fee.

‘Rare cache’ of Hasmonean-era coins uncovered in Israel’s Modiin: here.

5 thoughts on “Medieval caliphate golden coin treasure discovery in Mediterranean

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