gold coins
gold coins

Israeli divers discovered nearly 2,000 gold coins from the Islamic Fatimid caliphate era, about 1,000 years ago, the Israel Antiquities Authority said.

gold coins
gold coins


The different denomination coins most likely sank to the bottom of the sea during a shipwreck, experts said.

The horde, the largest found in Israel, was discovered near Caesarea, an ancient port city.

“Despite the fact they were at the bottom of the sea for about a thousand years, they did not require any cleaning or conservation intervention from the metallurgical laboratory,” said Robert Cole, a currency expert at the antiquities authority.

He noted that some of the coins had teeth marks, indicating they were likely physically tested by merchants.

The discovery was made possible because of the winter storms, officials said.

Most of the coins seem to have been produced during the reigns of the Fatimid caliphs al-Hakim and his son al-Zahir, who together ruled from 996 until 1036.

The Fatimids, Shiite Muslims, ruled much of North Africa and parts of the Middle East, with Egypt as its main seat of power.

The dynasty was overthrown towards the end of the 12 century by Salah a-Din, often known in the West as Saladin.

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