The Crusades have a price

The Crusades have a price

A chest with unusual coins and a gold earring about 900 years old from the time of the Crusades was found in the port city of Cesárea, as reported by the Antiquities Authority of Israel (AAI).

"The chest is a silent testimony of one of the most dramatic events in the history of Cesárea: the violent conquest of the city by the Crusaders, someone hid his fortune, hoping to recover it, but never returned for it," archaeologist Peter explained. Guendelman, co-director of the excavation.

The treasure, a small bronze chest containing 24 gold coins and an earring of the same precious metal, was unearthed a few days ago in the Caesarea National Park, extracted from two stones next to a well located in a house of a neighborhood of almost a millennium ago, a statement said.

The discovery is displayed in the port of Cesárea.

"It is a real Hanukkah prize for us (like the one that Jewish children receive on the Hanukkah holiday that is celebrated these days), the happiness of having found these coins precisely at this party," said Michael Karasenti, president of the Corporation for the Development of Cesárea.

Mohamed Hatar, second co-director of the project of the AAI said that "the coins found in the chest, dated from the eleventh century, make it possible to relate the treasure with the cross-conquest of the city in 1101".

Archaeologists referred to that event as one of the most dramatic in the history of the Caesarea in which, according to contemporary written sources, the majority of its inhabitants were massacred by the Army of Baldwin I, king of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem (1100 -1118).

"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," archaeologists point out.

In this place two other treasures of the same time were found previously, one was discovered in the 60s and another in the 90s, and can be seen in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

The excavation area, in which the Rothschild Foundation has invested more than 150 million shekels (about 35 million euros), is part of a complex built by Herod more than 2,000 years ago, as a tribute to his Roman patron, the emperor Augustus, and the goddess Roma.

According to the AAI coin expert, Robert Kool, the pieces found did not circulate locally, and suggest trade relations between Caesarea and Constantinople.

"One or two of these coins were equivalent to the annual salary of a simple farmer, so that who deposited the chest or was someone wealthy or was related to trade," said Kool.


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