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Monday, December 22, 2008

Striking gold in Jerusalem

British tourist Nadine Ross struck gold in Jerusalem on Sunday. Literally.

Ross, a volunteer on an archeological dig in a parking lot just outside the Old City's Dung Gate, found a stash of 264 gold coins from the Byzantine era, some 1400 years ago. It was the largest stash ever found.
The find is "one of the largest and most impressive" coins hoards even discovered in Jerusalem, and by far the largest and most important of its period, said Dr. Doron Ben-Ami who is directing the excavation at the site.

The Byzantine-era hoard was found in the runs of a building where a striking 2,000-year-old gold earring from the Roman era was dug up last month.

The coins, which had likely been hidden in a niche in one of the building's walls, bear the image of the Byzantine emperor Heraclius, who ruled between 610 and 641 C.E.

He is depicted wearing military dress and holding a cross in his right hand.

Previously, the only hoard of gold coins from the Byzantine Period that had been discovered in Jerusalem consisted of a mere five gold coins.
That's some piece of Chanuka gelt.


At 7:34 AM, Blogger Captain.H said...

Nice haul. I'd guess those ancient gold coins are worth more for their coin market value even than for their gold value.

So, what's the Israeli law on these gold coins? Does Miss Ross get to keep them, or does whoever has government dig authorization and is running the dig, or do they become state property?


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