One of the largest-ever gold caches located in Israel was discovered by Tel Aviv University and the Nature and Parks Authority in a dig in the Apollonia National Park near Herzliya.
400 grams of gold – 108 gold coins minted around the year 1,000 in Egypt and valued at over $100,000 – was found last week in by a TAU student in a potsherd under the tiles of one room of a Crusader fortress conquered by the Mamluks.
The find is part of a three-year excavation in which hundreds of arrow heads and catapult stones have been found, evidence of the mighty battle between the Crusaders and the Mamluks.
Rare glass utensils and Italian shards have also been found.
The coastal fortress and adjacent city were part of the Knights Hospitaller’s most important strongholds. In 1265, Mamluk Sultan Baybars attacked the city and captured it in a 40 day siege.
Researchers believe the gold was hidden by a Crusader leader, in hopes that the fortress would be ultimately be retaken from the Muslim invaders and the treasure restored to its Christian owners.Malkah Fleisher