Archaeology breakthrough: Shipwreck treasure 'so valuable it’s priceless' ...

Christianity ‘turned to archaeology to promote bible’ says expert

Zvika Fayer was scuba diving off the ancient Israeli port town of Caesarea when he made the discovery on the nearby beach. Originally thinking the shining objects were cheap sweets, he later realised he had stumbled across golden coins. He said after the find: “I was astonished when I saw that both sides of the metal were gold." The Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) said 2,000 pieces dating back more than 1,000 years were spotted on the seabed by members of a diving club

They added that the find was "so valuable that it's priceless".

Arabic text was found on both sides of the coins, which were thought to have been from a shipwreck.

Kobi Sharvit, director of the marine archaeology unit at the Israel Antiquities Authority added: "There is probably a shipwreck there of an official treasury boat which was on its way to the central government in Egypt with taxes that had been collected.

"Perhaps the treasure of coins was meant to pay the salaries of the Fatimid military garrison which was stationed in Caesarea and protected the city."

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However, he noted another theory that the treasure belonged to a large merchant ship that traded with the coastal cities and the port on the Mediterranean Sea.

Archaeology news:Archaeology news: The treasure was found in Israel (Image: getty)

Archaeology news: The treasure was 'so valuable it is priceless'Archaeology news: The treasure was 'so valuable it is priceless' (Image: IAA)

Mr Fayer explained that he removed the coins from near the sea, as an incoming storm could have seen them lost forever.

He said: “We got a bit of a (proverbial) cold shower. They (the IAA) were yelling at us, asking why we had taken the coins out of the sea. We explained about the conditions… there was another storm coming, with waves expected to be 10 metres high.

"We told them that if

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