1,200-year-old Gold Coins Found in Israel

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January 6, 2020

A dig in Israel has turned up 1,200-year-old coins that archaeologists say might have been a secret stash kept for a specific purpose.

Israeli coin hoard

Digging at the city of Yavneh, the archaeologists found the seven gold coins hidden in a clay jug at the site at which also were found pottery kilns. One of the coins dates to the 8th or 9th Century, according to an Israeli coin expert from the Israel Antiquities Authority, specifically to the reign of Caliph Harun al-Rashid, who is thought to have been the inspiration for the famous One Thousands and One Nights stories. Also in the hoard are coins made by North African peoples; such coins are not often found in Israel, said Robert Kool, the coin expert.

Archaeologists also found nearby a site that would have been used for the production of wine, dating to the 4th Century B.C. Among the finding were ancient grape seeds. The number of wine vats found would have produced more wine than would have used by the population of the city at the time, and so archaeologists think that the city would have been a wine exporter.

Yavneh was a major city in ancient times. It was the site of the rebirth of the Jewish tradition after the destruction of the Second Temple, in Jerusalem, in A.D. 70. The city has gone by various names throughout history, including Jabneh, Iamnia, Jamnia, Ibelin, and Yibná. The modern city is 17 miles south of what is now Tel Aviv; the dig was in preparation for the construction of a housing development.

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Social Studies for Kids
copyright 2002–2018
David White

Social Studies for Kids
copyright 2002–2020
David White