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Tue Oct 4, 2022, 11:52 AM

Ancient gold coins found hidden in wall shed light on Byzantine Empire

Source: NBC News

By Patrick Smith

When someone stashed 44 gold coins into a wall in the 7th century, they may have hoped to one day return and find their treasure again. Instead, almost 1,400 years on, the coins have been found by Israeli archaeologists who hailed the discovery as a rare glimpse into an ancient past at a tense time of violent conquest.

The Israeli Antiquities Authority said on Monday that it found the hoard at Banias, once known as Panaeas, an important spiritual site to successive cultures through history.

The pure gold coins, weighing about 170g (6oz), feature the effigies of emperors Phocas (602-610 CE) and Heraclius (610-644 CE), leading experts to believe the coins were hidden during the Muslim conquest of the area in around 635.

"The discovery reflects a specific moment in time, when we can imagine the owner concealing his fortune in the threat of war, hoping to return one day to retrieve his property," said Dr. Yoav Lerer, director of the excavation, in a statement.

Read more: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/ancient-gold-coins-found-hidden-in-wall-shed-light-on-byzantine-empire/ar-AA12Anht?rc=1&ocid=winp1taskbar&cvid=c9d83107c264400fd6132a4f400cb787

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Oct 4, 2022, 12:02 PM

1. Cool photo from OP link

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Oct 4, 2022, 12:02 PM

2. Kick




(Israel Antiquities Authority)

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Response to dalton99a (Reply #2)

Tue Oct 4, 2022, 12:18 PM

3. Those coins are in better shape than some old pennies I have

I wonder how many treasures lay hidden, accessible but yet to be found.

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Response to Martin Eden (Reply #3)

Tue Oct 4, 2022, 01:17 PM

5. They're made of gold, which doesn't corrode

Pennies are made of copper which is fairly reactive cladding a core of zinc which is very reactive. They will oxidize to nothing in less than a century. Gold (or platinum, if anyone should make them) artifacts will last essentially forever, even in air or salt water, as long as they aren't melted or physically mangled up.

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Response to localroger (Reply #5)

Tue Oct 4, 2022, 01:33 PM

7. Pennies

Old US pennies were 95% or more copper content.

Copper coins have been used for thousands of years and aren't that rare...museums across the world are filled with exhibits of copper "money".



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Response to FredGarvin (Reply #7)

Tue Oct 4, 2022, 05:04 PM

13. Solid copper pennies were discontinued in the early 1980's

You still run across a few of them in circulation, but copper is still a reactive metal and will dissolve into green dust over a period of enough years in several common natural environments. Gold and platinum will never do that no matter how hostile the environment. Gold coins recovered from centuries-sunken ships can be restored to like-new status. A copper coin in that situation will be nothing but copper oxide after a century or two.

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Response to localroger (Reply #13)

Tue Oct 4, 2022, 05:59 PM

15. My old pennies have the wheat design on the back

I also had some Indian Head pennies and the zinc 1943 set, but my coin collection disappeared many years ago.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Oct 4, 2022, 12:34 PM

4. Does he get to keep them? Or at least does he get paid for them to go into a museum?

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Response to jimfields33 (Reply #4)

Tue Oct 4, 2022, 01:25 PM

6. I'd like to know what this find is valued at!

Surely a figure far greater then just the weight of the gold. The article doesn’t say.

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Response to robbob (Reply #6)

Tue Oct 4, 2022, 02:03 PM

10. That would certainly be interesting.

Post below says he doesn’t get to keep it because it was part of a group. But I guess he gets his bragging rights. Which is pretty cool.

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Response to robbob (Reply #6)

Tue Oct 4, 2022, 03:32 PM

11. Phocas solidi (plural of solidus) sell for between six and nine hundred dollars on Ebay.

Most are in high grade as they were found in hoards.

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Response to jimfields33 (Reply #4)

Tue Oct 4, 2022, 01:45 PM

8. He cant keep the coins

Dr. Yoav Lerer was director of the excavation and was a part of a team of funded archaeologists.
No one got paid for the discovery.

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Response to FredGarvin (Reply #8)

Tue Oct 4, 2022, 02:03 PM

9. Oh thank you.

As a previous poster wrote, it would be interesting to find out how much it’s worth though. I guess he gets bragging rights.

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Response to jimfields33 (Reply #4)

Tue Oct 4, 2022, 05:08 PM

14. It was funded by Israeli Electric and operated by the Israeli Antiquities Authority

I suspect the coins will become property of the Israeli government through the Antiquities Authority. The funding by Israeli Electric was part of their obligation before construction work could begin on the site, and everyone else is an employee of the Antiquities Authority.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Oct 4, 2022, 04:28 PM

12. The plumber got $20k for finding $600k hidden at Joel Osteen's church.

12/8/21

A plumber who discovered stacks of cash and checks inside a wall at celebrity televangelist Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church last month has been awarded $20,000 by Crime Stoppers of Houston. 

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/plumber-discovered-money-wall-joel-osteens-lakewood-church-gets-20000-rcna8010

Notice that Crime Stoppers paid the reward, not Osteen or his church.

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