Israeli archaeologists have located a 1000 year-old hoard of gold coins, unearthed at a famous Crusader battleground where Christian and Muslim forces fought for control of the Holy Land.
Over 100 coins dating back to the time of the crusader battles have been found in Israel. The coins were found in a ceramic jug hidden beneath a tile floor amongst the ruins of a castle in coastal Arsuf, 15km from Tel Aviv, Israel.
The castle served as an important strategic point during the holy war of the 12th and 13th centuries, and this discovery is one of the biggest ancient coin discoveries ever made in Israel, with a total of 108 coins discovered so far.
Arsuf – also known as Arsur or Apollonia under Roman rule – was an ancient city and fortress, first settled by the Phoenicians in the 5th or 6th century BC. Under Roman rule the town increased in size, was captured by Muslims in 640 AD, and then was captured by the crusaders in 1101, before changing hands many times as the crusader battles raged on. Utterly destroyed in 1265 by the Mamluks, the site has not been resettled since.
The site became Apollonia National Park in 2002, and was recognised in 2004 by the World Monuments Fund as one of the world’s most endangered monuments.
Who knows what other treasures might be waiting to be discovered!