|"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.