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A Stash of Ancient Gold Coins Found Hidden in a Wall in Northern Israel

A real-life “buried treasure” was recently discovered in Israel when archaeologists found a stash of 44 gold coins hidden in an ancient stone wall. It is believed that the treasure was hidden there by the owner as he fled from the invading Muslim army about 600 years after Yeshua walked the earth.

“The discovery reflects a specific moment in time when we can imagine the owner concealing his fortune in the threat of war, hoping to return one day to retrieve his property. In retrospect, we know that he was less fortunate,” said the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) excavation director Yoav Lerer.

The treasure was found during an IAA dig at Banias (where we think Yeshua and Peter had their famous conversation about the gates of Hell not prevailing against the Church). The excavations are in the Hermon River Nature Reserve and are part of a larger project by the Israel Electric Corporation to connect a Druze holy site to the nation’s power grid.

The small coins tell a big story—about the Muslim conquests in the regions during the 600s AD—if you know how to “listen,” which the archaeologists do.

“The coin hoard, weighing about 170 grams, was concealed within the base of an ashlar stone wall at the time of the Muslim conquest. The discovery of the coin hoard may also shed light on the economy of the city of Banias during the last 40 years of Byzantine rule,” Lerer said.

The coins were made completely of gold and appear to have been minted during the reigns of Byzantine Emperor Phocas (602-610 AD) and Emperor Heraclius (610-641 AD), according to Gabriela Bijovsky, a coin expert with the IAA. The Muslims conquered the area in 635 AD.

The dig has also uncovered the ruins of water channels, pipes, buildings, a pottery kiln and fragments, bronze coins, and other artifacts spanning 700 years—from the Byzantine era to the Middle Ages. And the remains of one building—what is possibly the Church of St. Peter at Banias—will be open to the public soon.

“The Banias Nature Reserve, endowed with its unique nature and landscape, does not cease to surprise us from a historical-cultural point of view. The gold coin hoard is on a par with the Byzantine church, possibly the Church of St. Peter, that was recently discovered. The finds include the remains of a mosaic floor and a stone engraved with many crosses, indicating that Banias became a Christian pilgrim site. The church, that was damaged in an earthquake that struck the north of the country, will soon be exhibited to the public visiting the nature reserve,” said National Parks Authority Director Raya Shurky.

The gold coins are also expected to eventually be displayed at the park.

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Shalom from Israel! I am Ron Cantor and this is my blog. I serve as the President of Shelanu TV.

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