Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Crusader Gold found in Israel

"TEL AVIV, Israel, July 10 2012 (UPI) -- A hoard of buried gold coins found in Apollonia National Park by a joint team of archeologists from Tel Aviv University and the Nature and Parks Authority is one of the country's largest-ever such finds.

The hoard of 108 gold coins were minted in Egypt about 250 years before being buried in the floor of a 13th century fortress at Apollonia Park, about 15 miles north of Tel Aviv.

"Researchers said they believe one of the fortress' leaders hid the cache of coins to prevent Muslim conquerors from finding it, possibly hoping to retrieve it at a later date. The Christian Order of the Knights Hospitaller ruled the fortress and the surrounding city.

"I believe that the stash was deliberately buried in a partly broken vessel, which was then filled with sand and laid under the floor," TAU researcher Oren Tal said. "So if anyone found it, he would think it's a broken pot and pay no attention." However, "The findings indicate a prolonged siege and a harsh battle that took place at the site," Oren said.

In March 1265, Mamluke Sultan Baybars stormed the city and captured it after 40 days of siege.