2,000 gold coins found off coast of Caesarea, Israel

In the largest gold coin trove find in region’s history, over 2,000 gold coins dating back to Fatimid Caliphate found off coast of Israel

The discovery made by scuba divers (Israel's Antiquities Authority)

The discovery made by scuba divers (Israel’s Antiquities Authority)

A group of scuba divers found a trove of over 2,000 pieces of gold over 1,000 years old Tuesday.

The treasure, being studied by Israel’s Antiquities Authority is the largest trove of gold coins found in the region to date. The coins were reportedly circulated by the Fatimid Caliphate that ruled in the region through the tenth and twelfth centuries (901-1171).

The discovery was made 12 meters from the coast of Caesarea weighing at nine kilograms.

Robert Cole from the Antiquities Authority stated that the coins are “excellent condition, and despite remaining at the bottom of the sea for over 1,000 years, they did not need any conservation lab treatment.”

A statement release by the Antiquities Authority stated that the “largest treasure of gold coins discovered in Israel was found in recent weeks on the seabed in the ancient harbor in Caesarea.”

Director of the Marine Archeology Unit at the Authority, Kobi Sharvit, stating on the discovery “There was 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.”

He stated Wednesday that excavations will be held in the area the coins were found.

 (Israel's Antiquities Authority)

(Israel’s Antiquities Authority)