Archaeologists led by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) have uncovered a real-life buried treasure on the country's Mediterranean coast. Excavations and conservation work in the port city of Caesarea have revealed a cache of rare coins and a 900-year-old gold earring. Among the hoard of coins are examples of currency never seen before in Israel.
The ancient coins included 18 Fatimid dinars, a standard currency of the time.
But the archaeologists were surprised to find six Byzantine imperial coins, dated to the reign of Emperor Michael VII Doukas (1071 to 1079 AD).
According to Dr Peter Gendelman and Mohammed Hatar of the IAA, the coins may be linked to a massacre perpetrated by Baldwin I, the first king of Jerusalem (1100 and 1118 AD).
Baldwin's armies capture Caesarea and a number of other cities in 1101, massacring and pillaging their way across the Holy Land.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
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Archaeology news: Ancient coins recovered in the port city of Caesarea (Image: Yaniv Berman and Clara Amit, Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority)
Archaeology news: The coins may have belonged to victims of a massacre (Image: Yaniv Berman and Clara Amit, Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority)
Chances are the discovered treasure was hidden before the Crusader massacre and was never recovered by its owners.
The IAA archaeologists said: "The coins in the cache make it possible to link the treasure to the Crusader conquest of the city in the year 1101, one of the most dramatic events in the medieval history of the city.
"According to contemporary written sources, most of the inhabitants of Caesarea were massacred by the armies of Baldwin I, king of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem.
"It is reasonable to assume