Movie treasure found: 425 pure gold coins over 1,000 years old

The pure gold coins were found buried inside a clay pot.Heidi Levine / EFE / EPA

Several archaeologists have unearthed an Islamic film treasure in Israel: it is composed of 425 pure gold coins from the period of the Abbasid Caliphate , which existed 1,100 years ago. 

” The treasure was buried in a clay pot and contains 425 coins , most from the Abbasid period. The person who buried it 1,100 years ago must have hoped to get it back, and even closed the pot with a nail so it wouldn’t move. “Liat Nadav-Ziv and Elie Haddad, the archaeologists in charge of the excavation, explained in a statement.

“Finding this considerable amount of gold coins is extremely rare. We hardly ever find them in archaeological excavations . Since gold has always been extremely valuable, it was melted and reused, from generation to generation. These coins are made of Pure gold, so it does not oxidize in the air, has been found in excellent condition, as if it had been buried yesterday, “they added.

The discovery, these experts believe, may be indicative that there was international trade between this area and other more remote areas.

Dinars and small exchange pieces

Robert Kool, a coin expert with the Israel Antiquities Authority, notes that “it is extremely rare to find treasures from the Abbasid period in excavations in Israel, especially gold coins. This one, from the late 9th century BC, is one one of the oldest found “.

The coins are 24 karat gold and the total weight of the treasure is 845 grams, a significant amount of money in those days. With that sum, he estimates, its owner could have bought a luxurious house in the best neighborhoods of Fustat, the capital of Egypt at the time.

“Most of the coins date from that century, when the Abbasid Caliphate stretched from Persia in the east to North Africa in the west , and whose center of government was in Baghdad, present-day Iraq.

The hidden treasure contains gold dinars , but also some 270 small pieces of dinar pieces cut to serve as bargains.

“Cutting gold and silver coins was used routinely in the monetary system in Islamic countries after 850 BC , when bronze and copper coins suddenly disappeared,” Kool explained.