Scuba Divers Discover Trove of Coins off Coast of Israel

Scuba divers inadvertently discovered a trove of gold coins that has been declared the largest ever located off the Mediterranean coast of Israel.

The find amounted to over 2,000 pieces that date from over 1,000 years ago, that were spotted by members of a local diving club.

At first members of the group thought they were seeing toys when they spotted the coins, but realized quickly they were incorrect and what the trued significance was of their discovery.

Members of the Antiquities Authority have said that the recent finds was priceless because of their value.

Divers were exploring a harbor in Caesarea when the gold coins were located. They took up several of the coins and returned quickly to shore to inform the club’s director of their find.

Experts at the authority were called to the site and uncovered a trove of close to 2,000 coins of different denominations that had been circulated by the Fatimid Caliphate that ruled most of North Africa and the Middle East between 909 and 1171

Kobi Sharvit is the Israel Antiquities Authority’s marine archaeology director and said that excavations are to be carried out with the hope of shedding some light on the treasure’s origin,

He believes there likely it was a shipwreck in that spot of a treasury boat that had been on its way to a central government bank in Egypt with the taxes that were collected.

Another idea that came to mind was that the coins were to be used to pay salaries to the military garrison of the Fatimid, which was stationed at Caesarea and were protecting the city.

He added that another theory was the treasure was on a merchant ship that had traded with area coastal cities and sank.

The entire haul, which weighed just over 20 pounds, is believed to have been exposed due to a number of strong winter storms.

The find is now state property and no finders’ fee was paid.

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