Yizre'el Valley Silver Hoard
A hoard comprising 30 Tyrian silver staters was found in the Yizre'el Valley (lower Galilee) in 1981. The hoard dates to the 4th century BCE and is one of the earliest hoards of its kind found in Israel. The coins were minted in the Phoenician coastal city of Tyre and depict the local god Melqarth riding into the waves on a winged hippocamp - a mythological sea monster - accompanied by a dolphin. On the reverse side of the coin there is a depiction of an owl emulating the renowned owl type appearing on the most important coin of the day, the Athenian tetradrachm. The owl holds a crook and flail, emblems of the Egyptian god Osiris and symbols of royalty carried by the Pharaohs of Egypt, hinting of strong economic and cultural ties between Egypt and the Phoenician seaboard.

Shoham Gold Hoard
Two juglets, one containing 50 gold Byzantine solidi, were found buried at both sides of an threshold of a room, during excavations conducted by the IAA in what appears to have been a Byzantine monastery located near the modern settlement of Shoham, near Tel Aviv. The reason for its concealment remains unclear, as no signs of violent destruction were found in the building. In all likelihood, the hoard was deposited during the early years of the Byzantine emperor Constans II's long reign (641-668 CE), possibly in reaction to the new tax legislation ordered after the Muslim conquest of Palestine and Syria by 640.

Silver and Bronze hoard from Khirbet Petora
This small hoard of bronze and silver coins concealed in a small jug was recently found in a salvage excavation conducted by the IAA in the vicinity of the southern port city of Ascalon It consists of a silver imperial dinar of the Roman emperor Vespasian (69-79 CE) and two silver drachms of Trajan (98-117) minted in Bostra. These coins were accompanied by bronze coins struck in Ascalon dated to the first years of the emperor Hadrian. The nature of the hoard suggests that its deposition is related to the Bar Kochba revolt (132-135) against the Romans.

Mamluk Silver Hoard from Zefat
A hundred and twenty five silver coins were concealed in a broken jug discovered during recent excavations conducted by the IAA in the northern city of Zefat. The hoard contained a group of 43 silver grossos minted in the Italian mint of Venice between 1229 and 1339. They were found mixed in the pot with 82 silver dirhams minted locally in about the same period (1261-1340's) by Mamluk rulers of Egypt and Syria.

Mamluk Copper Hoard from Megadim
Underwater excavations of a ship's cargo off the Megadim coast, some 10 km south of the Haifa promontory, uncovered a huge hoard of approximately 100,000 small copper fals dating to the Mamluk period. Most of the hoard is preserved in nine large lumps each weighing 20 kg or more. Scanty remains of woven palm fibers are still present on the surface of some of the lumps , showing that the coins were transported in wrapped parcels, each containing a fixed number/weight of coins. In addition to the lumps, the hoard contains tens of thousands single copper coins gathered from the seabed. A small sample of coins was cleaned, tentatively dating the hoard to the reign of the Mamluk sultan al-Nasir Faraj (1399-1412 CE). The coins, most of them carelessly struck in enormous quantities, were of low value due to the severe monetary crisis that hit the Mamluk empire during the late 14th -15th centuries.

For more information, please contact Mrs Helena Sokolov, Coordinator of Special Projects - National Treasures