A rare hoard of 425 coins from the ninth century were uncovered in central Israel by a group of young people volunteering before their compulsory army service.
The coins, made of solid gold, date to the rule of Islamic Abbasid dynasty period some 1,100 years ago. The Abbasid Caliphate stretched from Persia to North Africa, with its capital in Baghdad, Iraq.
The coins were unearthed during an archaeological excavation carried out by the Israel Antiquities Authority before the construction of a neighborhood in the center of the country.
The pure 24-karat gold coins were found in a clay jar, which archaeologists believe was deliberately buried in the ground. It is uncommon to unearth gold coins, especially in such a large quantity. The archaeologists didn’t speculate why the coins had been hidden and abandoned.
The hoard consists of full gold dinars, as well as about 270 small pieces that had been cut to serve as small change.
A small Byzantine coin fragment was found among the coins, evidence of connections between the two rival empires during this period.