Arthur Shippee forwarded this article from The Jerusalem Post. Thanks. -Editor
A Hanukkah present straight from the legendary One Thousand and One Nights has brightened the holiday of a group of Israeli archaeologists.
The Antiquities Authority announced Sunday that a juglet full of rare 1,200-year-old gold coins was discovered in an excavation in Yavne just before the festival. The site is
being excavated by the IAA prior to the building of a new neighborhood in the city.
"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," Liat Nadav-Ziv, codirector of the
excavation said on behalf of the IAA. "I ran toward the shouting and saw Marc Molkondov, a veteran archaeologist of the Israel Antiquities Authority 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 Hanukkah
As revealed by IAA coin expert Robert Kool, the coins date back to the early Abbasid Period, 9th century CE. The period marked the beginning of a golden age for the Muslim
empire, with the Abbasid rulers acquiring international status and promoting art, science, commerce and industry. According to Kool, among the coins was a dinar from the reign of
Caliph Harun al-Rashid (786-809 CE), whose court was the setting of many parts of the world-renowned One Thousand and One Nights– also known as Arabian Nights.
"The hoard also includes coins that are rarely found in Israel," 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 Baghdad," he added. "Without a doubt this is a wonderful Hanukkah present for us."
Archaeologists excavating the site also found a large amount of pottery kilns used to produce jars, pots and bowls. The jug-let containing the gold coins was uncovered nearby,
and the experts suggested it might have been the potter's "piggy-bank" where he had kept his personal savings. The kilns date back to the end of the Byzantine and beginning of the
Early Islamic period (7th – 9th centuries CE).
To read the complete article, see:
Trove of 1,200-year-old ‘Arabian Nights' gold coins
uncovered in Israel (https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Culture/Trove-of-1200-year-old-Arabian-nights-gold-coins-uncovered-in-Israel-612471)
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