JERUSALEM Ė A cache of unusual coins and a 900-year-old gold earring from the time of the Crusades were found in the Israeli port city of Caesarea, the Israel Antiquities Authority revealed on Monday.
Archaeologist Peter Guendelman, co-director of the excavation, said the cache is a testimony of one of the most dramatic events in the history of Caesarea, noting that the violent conquest of the city by the Crusaders hid its fortune.
The treasure, a small bronze chest containing 24 gold coins and an earring of the same precious metal, was unearthed and extracted a few days ago in the Caesarea National Park, according to the IAA statement.
Mohamed Hatar, a co-director of the IAA project, said that the coins found in the chest, which date back to the 11th century, make it possible to relate the treasure with the conquest of the city in 1101.
Archaeologists referred to the discovery as one of the most dramatic in the history of Caesarea, as the majority of its inhabitants, according to contemporary written sources, were massacred by the army of King Baldwin I between 1100 and 1118.
The archaeologists added that it is reasonable to assume that the owner of the treasure and his family perished in the massacre or were sold as slaves, and therefore could not recover their gold.
Two other treasures of the same time were previously found in this place in the 1960s and 1990s, and both are displayed at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.