Sunday, July 15, 2012
HERZLIYA, Israel, July 11 (Reuters) - A 1,000-year-old hoard of gold coins has been unearthed at a famous Crusader battleground where Christian and Muslim forces once fought for control of the Holy Land, Israeli archaeologists said on Wednesday.
The treasure was dug up from the ruins of a castle in Arsuf, a strategic stronghold during the religious conflict waged in the 12th and 13th centuries.
The 108 coins - one of the biggest collections of ancient coins discovered in Israel - were found hidden in a ceramic jug beneath a tile floor at the cliff-top coastal ruins, 15 km (9 miles) from Tel Aviv.
"It is a rare find. We don't have a lot of gold that had been circulated by the Crusaders," said Oren Tal, a professor at Tel Aviv University who leads the dig.