Hoard of Gold Coins from Early Abbasid Period Found in Israel

A cache of gold dinars dating to the 9th century CE has been unearthed by a team of archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).

1,100-year-old gold dinars from the early Abbasid period found inside a juglet in Yavne, Israel. Image credit: Liat Nadav-Ziv, Israel Antiquities Authority.

The hoard, which includes seven gold dinars, was found in Yavne, a town in the Central District of Israel.

“We were surprised to discover a broken clay juglet containing gold coins,” the IAA archaeologists said.

“The excavations revealed an ancient industrial area which was active for several hundred years. The shiny treasure may have been a potter’s personal ‘piggy bank’.”

“I was in the middle of cataloging a large number of artifacts we found during the excavations when all of a sudden I heard shouts of joy,” added IAA archaeologist Dr. Liat Nadav-Ziv, co-director of the excavation.

“I ran towards the shouting and saw Marc Molkondov, a veteran archaeologist of the IAA, approaching me excitedly.”

“We quickly followed him to the field where we were surprised at the sight of the treasure. This is without a doubt a unique and exciting find especially during the Chanukah holiday.”

The Yavne hoard. Image credit: Liat Nadav-Ziv, Israel Antiquities Authority.

IAA coin expert Dr. Robert Kool dated the Yavne hoard to the 9th century CE (the early Abbasid period).

Among the coins found in the hoard is a gold dinar minted during the reign of the Haroun al-Rashid (786-809 CE), Caliph in the Arabian Nights.

“The hoard also includes coins that are rarely found in Israel,” Dr. Kool said.

“These are gold dinars issued by the Aghlabid dynasty that ruled in North Africa, in the region of modern Tunisia, on behalf of the Abbasid Caliphate centered in Bagdad.”

 

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