Kids everywhere dream of discovering buried treasure, and two teens did just that earlier this week in Israel. While on summer break, doing their pre-military national service, the Israeli teens uncovered a jar full of gold coins that archaeologists believe are from more than 1,000 years ago.
Gold coins are a super rare find even for the most experienced of archaeologists. One reason they’re so rare: future civilizations have usually found them, melted them down, and reused them for their own.
So why were these 24-carat gold coins at this archaeological dig site in central Israel? The clue is in what the coins were stored in: a clay jar that had been nailed shut and then buried.
Archaeologists have theorized that someone sealed them in a jar and planned to come back from them later. Why the original owner wasn’t able to retrieve them is anyone’s guess, but these two teens got very lucky. Since the jar was sealed, the coins didn’t oxidize. They were just waiting to be discovered!
When the teens first found the jar, they weren’t sure what they had found; peering inside they thought they were leaves. But shockingly they weren’t.
Rather, the jar was full of 425 gold coins, which is a literal treasure as it would have made anyone wealthy in the 9th century. Some of the coins were full gold dinars, while others were smaller gold cuttings.
One of the smaller pieces was a fragment that showed the Byzantine Christian emperor. Since this rare piece was among so many Israeli gold coins, it suggests the gold was used in the international trade between empires.
This isn’t the first time gold coins have been discovered in the area. But it’s still incredibly exciting! What an incredible way for the teens to end their summer break.
You can watch the video below for more information.