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Finding treasures from previous eras has always been largely represented as legends and even myths. While many go out treasure hunting and come back disappointed, two Israeli teenagers unearthed some on their casual summer break. They found a trove of hundreds of gold coins dating back 1,100 years ago.
The hoard was discovered buried in a clay jar at an archaeological dig in Yavne in central Israel, said the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) on Monday. The two teenagers, who were taking part in pre-military national service, initially thought they found a jar with some leaves in it.
"It was amazing. I dug in the ground and when I excavated the soil, saw what looked like very thin leaves," Oz Cohen, one of the youths who found the coins, said in a statement.
According to Robert Kool, a coin expert with the IAA, the coins date back to the end of the 9th century when the Islamic Abbasid Caliphate, a dynasty which ruled a territory from modern-day Algeria to Afghanistan, reigned over the region. The 425 coins are of pure 24-karat gold and weigh a total of 845 grams.
"With such a sum, a person could buy a luxurious house in one of the best neighbourhoods in Fustat, the enormous wealthy capital of Egypt in those days," said Kool.
According to the excavation site officials, finding such a large cache of gold coins is exceedingly rare, since gold was often melted down and reused by the following civilisations. The collection of gold coins apart from gold dinars also contain some smaller cuttings of gold. One of the cuttings is an exceptionally rare piece showing a fragment of Byzantine emperor Theophilus, stated Kool.
He said the fragment of a Christian emperor found in an Islamic coin hoard denotes the connections between these empires.
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