Last week some Israeli teenagers discovered a stash of hundreds of gold coins inside a clay vessel. It's unlikely the owner of said coins will give any sort of a fuck since the loot is 1,100 years old.
Reuters reports that the treasure was found on Aug. 18. An announcement was made on Monday by the Israel Antiquities Authority saying the teens who located the cache had been working at an excavation site that was being dug up in preparation for a new neighborhood to be built.
The area, located in Central Israel, had housed workshops during the time period in which the treasure was concealed. The coins' original owner remains a mystery.
“The person who buried this treasure 1,100 years ago must have expected to retrieve it and even secured the vessel with a nail so that it would not move. We can only guess what prevented him from returning to collect this treasure,” said an excavation director.
Oz Cohen, one of the volunteers who made the find, described the thrill of unearthing the coins. “It was amazing,” he said in a statement. “I dug in the ground and when I excavated the soil, saw what looked like very thin leaves. When I looked again I saw these were gold coins. It was really exciting to find such a special and ancient treasure.”
As for conversion rates, we're going to have to take Reuters' word for it. They say that the 425 24-carat pure gold coins, which weighed close to two pounds, would've been worth a bunch back when they were stored in secret. According to a coin expert at the Antiquities Authority (Robert Kool), it turns out that the person who stored them could've been living large. If he was already living large, he could've been living even larger.
“For example, with such a sum, a person could buy a luxurious house in one of the best neighbourhoods in Fustat, the enormous wealthy capital of Egypt in those days,” Kool said.
To put it in the popular parlance of the ninth century Abbasid Caliphate period, sounds like the owner done goofed up real bad. Or he died before he could retrieve them...doesn't much matter now.
This newest find represents the most recent example of modern day citizens accidentally stumbling across ancient treasure. One would not consider it wise to form your own Goonies troop due to occasional news like this, but it's still interesting to know that there are fortunes from past civilizations stored around the globe. In 2016, a person out for a hike came across a 2,000-year-old gold coin with the face of a Roman emperor in eastern Galilee. There's only one other such coin known to exist. A year before that, divers located 2,000 gold coins that had sat at the bottom of the Mediterranean for more than 1,000 years.