Coins dating back 1,700 years which could have been carried on ancient Mediterranean ship are found washed up on beach in Israel

  • Coins believed to be 1,700 years-old have been discovered on an Israeli beach
  • Tour guide Yotam Dahan found them while camping with his family on Neveh Yam beach near Atlit
  • The coins were turned into a 13-pound lump due to the saltwater 
  • A coin expert estimated the doubloons are from the 4th century

Ancient coins believed to be 1,700 years-old that may have been aboard a ship navigating the Mediterranean Sea have been discovered on an Israeli beach, officials said on Tuesday.

The coins were discovered by tour guide Yotam Dahan, who found the coins while on vacation with his family on Neveh Yam beach near Atlit, Israel, according to YNet News. 

Dahan saw something sparkly sticking out of the sand, which turned out to be the 13-pound lump of coins, that he later posted to Facebook.

Coins believed to be 1,700 years-old have been discovered on an Israeli beach

Tour guide Yotam Dahan found them while camping with his family on Neveh Yam beach near Atlit, Israel

Upon posting to social media, Dahan was contacted by the Israel Antiquities Authority’s (IAA) to get the exact location of the discovery.

Dr Donald Zvi-Ariel, a coin expert for the IAA, estimated the doubloons are from the 4th century.

The salty seawater turned the massive hoard of coins into the giant ball discovered by Dayan. 

Dahan was given a certificate of appreciation by the IAA after handing the coins over to the organization. 

‘Handing such findings over to the national collection helps us, the archaeologists, complete more parts of the puzzle that is the history of the Land of Israel,’ Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist Karem Said told Ynet.   

A coin expert estimated the doubloons are from the 4th century and may have been on a ship that traveled the Mediterranean

Speaking with the Jerusalem Post, IAA marine archeology department head Jacob Sharvit said it’s possible the coins were once aboard a ship sailing the Mediterranean.

‘Archaeological sites are prevalent all along the Habonim beach strip,’ Sharvit said. 

‘Archaeological records show vessels were often washed ashore along with all their cargo. 

‘The bundle of coins found shows they were packed together and agglutinated due to oxidation of the metals.’  

Sharvit told YNet that the area in which the coins were discovered neighbors other archeological sites that show there was human activity in the area as far back as 9,000 years ago.

There is also evidence of maritime activity that dates to 4,000 years ago, Sharvit added.

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