Treasure Found in Israel From Time of Alexander the Great

YERUSHALAYIM (Reuters) -
Recently uncovered coins and jewelry said to be from the time of Alexander the Great. (REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)
Recently uncovered coins and jewelry said to be from the time of Alexander the Great. (REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

Cave explorers in Israel have uncovered a small trove of coins and jewelry from the time of Alexander the Great that archaeologists believe was hidden by refugees during an ancient war.

The treasure, estimated to be 2,300 years old, was the first of its kind to be found from the period of the conquerer, said Eitan Klein of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Just last month, scuba divers off Israel’s coast came upon an even larger find — about 2,000 gold coins from the 11th century that archaeologists hope will shed light on Muslim rule during that time.

Hikers discovered the latest cache in a narrow crevice of a stalactite cave in the Galil. It included two silver coins minted during Alexander’s reign and several pieces of silver jewelry, including rings, bracelets and earrings.

“The valuables might have been hidden in the cave by local residents who fled there during the period of governmental unrest stemming from the death of Alexander,” the Antiquities Authority said in a statement.

“Presumably the cache was hidden in the hope of better days.”