Monday, January 05, 2009

Neat find of Gold Coins in Israel

Israeli archaeologists find rare gold coins

This was reported back on December 23, but I'm just seeing it now.

Talk about a find of a lifetime by the volunteer:
Nadine Ross, a British archaeological volunteer, happened onto the coins during the dig just below the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem.

And quite a find it is:
The Israel Antiquities Authority reported a thrilling find Sunday -- the discovery of 264 ancient gold coins in Jerusalem National Park.

The coins were minted during the early 7th century.

"This is one of the largest and most impressive coin hoards ever discovered in Jerusalem -- certainly the largest and most important of its period," said Doron Ben-Ami and Yana Tchekhanovets, who are directing the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Researchers discovered the coins at the beginning of the eight-day Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, which started at sunset on Sunday.

One of the customs of the holiday is to give "gelt," or coins, to children, and the archaeologists are referring to the find as "Hanukkah money."

The coins are of the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius

From the description, the coins are gold solidi (singular solidus) and probably look like this:
A great historical discovery, a find of a hidden hoard of wealth secreted away over a thousand years ago.

1 comment: said...

I love stories like this.

When I was a kid I wanted to be Indiana Jones when I grew up. True story.