Israeli archaeologists find large treasure trove of Islamic gold coins

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A collection of 425 complete Islamic gold coins has been unearthed near the central town of Yavne, Israeli archaeologists said Monday.

The treasure, which was unearthed by young volunteers during recent rescue excavations, dates from the Abbasid period around 1,100 years ago.

Israeli archaeologist Shahar Krispin counts gold coins buried in a pottery vessel that was discovered at an archaeological site in central Israel on Tuesday, August 18, 2020. Israeli archaeologists have announced the discovery of treasure of early Islamic gold coins during recent salvage excavations near the central city of Yavn Tel Aviv. The collection of 425 complete gold coins, mostly dating from the Abbasid period around 1,100 years ago, is an “extremely rare” find. (AP Photo / Sipa Press, Heidi Levine, Pool)

The pieces are an “extremely rare” find, Israeli Antiquities Authority archaeologists Liat Nadav-Ziv and Elie Haddad said in a joint statement.

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The find was among the largest caches of ancient coins to be found in Israel.

Israeli archaeologist Shahar Krispin cleans up gold coins discovered at an archaeological site in central Israel on Tuesday, August 18, 2020. Israeli archaeologists have announced the discovery of a treasure trove of early Islamic gold coins in recent rescue excavations near the central city of Yavn Tel Aviv.  The collection of 425 complete gold coins, most dating from the Abbasid period around 1,100 years ago, is a

Israeli archaeologist Shahar Krispin cleans up gold coins discovered at an archaeological site in central Israel on Tuesday, August 18, 2020. Israeli archaeologists announced the discovery of a treasure trove of early Islamic gold coins in recent rescue excavations near the central city of Yavn Tel Aviv. The collection of 425 complete gold coins, mostly dating from the Abbasid period around 1,100 years ago, is an “extremely rare” find. (AP Photo / Sipa Press, Heidi Levine, Pool)

Robert Kool, a coin expert with the Antiquities Authority, said an initial analysis indicates that the coins date from the late 9th century, considered the golden age of the Abbasid Caliphate which controlled the major part of the Near East and North Africa.

“Hopefully the study of the treasure tells us more about a period of which we still know very little,” Kool said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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