|"TEL AVIV, Israel, July 10 2012 (UPI) -- A hoard of buried gold coins found in Apollonia National Park by a joint team of archeologists from Tel Aviv University and the Nature and Parks Authority is one of the country's largest-ever such finds.|
The hoard of 108 gold coins were minted in Egypt about 250 years before being buried in the floor of a 13th century fortress at Apollonia Park, about 15 miles north of Tel Aviv.
|"Researchers said they believe one of the fortress' leaders hid the cache of coins to prevent Muslim conquerors from finding it, possibly hoping to retrieve it at a later date. The Christian Order of the Knights Hospitaller ruled the fortress and the surrounding city.|
"I believe that the stash was deliberately buried in a partly broken vessel, which was then filled with sand and laid under the floor," TAU researcher Oren Tal said. "So if anyone found it, he would think it's a broken pot and pay no attention." However, "The findings indicate a prolonged siege and a harsh battle that took place at the site," Oren said.
In March 1265, Mamluke Sultan Baybars stormed the city and captured it after 40 days of siege.
|The Roman fortress in Apollonia National Park has yielded a huge number of archaeological treasures - but scientists excavating a layer from the thirteenth century were stunned to unearth a literal pot of gold. The clay container had more than 100 gold dinals from the time when the Crusaders occupied the fortress, originally built by the Romans. The coins discovered in the fort date to the Fatimid empire in northern Africa, and are 200-300 years older than the ruined fortress they were found in.|