|A hoard of buried gold coins found in Apollonia National Park in 2012 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 believe the cache of coins was hidden to prevent Muslim conquerors from finding it. The Christian Order of the Knights Hospitaller ruled the fortress and the surrounding city .|
|The Order of the Knights of Saint John, Order of Hospitallers, Knights Hospitaller, and the Hospitallers, were among the most famous of the Roman Catholic military orders during the Middle Ages.|
The excavations offer a unique insight into Crusader fortifications in the Middle East. The layer of Crusader artifacts has lain nearly undisturbed since 1265. Muslim Arsuf was conquered by the Crusaders in 1101 and re-conquered by the Mamluks in 1265.
|In March 1265, Mamluke Sultan Baybars stormed the city and captured it after 40 days of siege. The knights were annihilated.|
Baibars (1223 – 1 July 1277) was the fourth Sultan of Egypt from the Mamluk Bahri dynasty. Baibars’ reign marked the start of an age of Mamluk dominance in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The coins discovered in the fort date to the Fatimid empire in northern Africa, and are 200-300 years older than the ruined fortress they were found in. The coins were minted in Tripoli and Alexandria - and are extremely valuable.