Scuba divers have found a hoard of gold coins believed were made one thousand years ago.
The gleaming coins were found by scuba divers in the sea bed off Isreal. Some 2,000 coins dated 1,000 century, which is during the Fatimid Dynasty, that dominated the Middle East.
“(This is) a great treasure from a vessel that was probably taking the hoard, possibly tax revenue, to Cairo but sank in Caesarean Harbour,” said Jacob Sharvit of the Israel Antiquties Authority.
Two weeks ago amateur divers found a number of coins, which was first mistaken as children toys. When it was found out that they are golden coins, a subsequent underwater search by experts netted about a thousand coins.
“At first they thought they spotted a toy from a game and it was only after they understood the coin was the real thing that they collected several coins and quickly returned to the shore in order to inform the director of the dive club about their find.”
A second dive on Tuesday found more similar coins and the total find weighed in between five and a half to six kilogrammes (12-13 lbs) of gold. The bullion value in current terms is around $240,000.
These findings showed how wealthy Fatimid is and also a glimpse on his trading practices.
“The Fatimids were the first Muslims to have had navy and they traded with all the Mediterranean cities, also with the Byzantines and the Christians, even though they were at war with them,” Sharvit explained.