On a cloudy morning in February 2015, Mr. Zvika Fayer, an avid scuba diver, and amateur archaeologist, along with his friends, explored the waters near the port town of Caesarea, Israel. Their adventure led to the serendipitous discovery of a glimmering collection of gold coins beneath the sea bed.


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The treasure was uncovered after a winter storm altered the seabed topography, creating the perfect conditions for the coins to come to light during a subsequent scuba diving expedition. Initially, the divers suspected the coins might be replicas, but upon closer inspection, they were astonished to find authentic gold coins. Mr. Zvika Fayer expressed his surprise, stating, “I was surprised when I discovered these gold coins.”

Caesarea, known for its ancient Roman ruins, is a popular diving site, with the Israeli government allowing amateur divers to explore underwater relics, including the favored location of Caesarea. Following the discovery, Mr. Fayer promptly contacted the Archaeological Agency for Israel (IAA) to ensure proper handling and documentation.

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Collaborating with the IAA, Mr. Fayer and his colleagues embarked on an underwater journey, collecting over 2,000 gold coins. These 24-karat coins, with a purity of up to 95%, had remained intact in the Mediterranean Sea for approximately 1,000 years. The treasure, believed to be from shipwrecks near Caesarea, provides invaluable insights into a lesser-understood historical period.

The archaeological significance of the find is considered “priceless” by experts, shedding light on the region’s history during the Fatimid dynasty of Islam. The gold coins, now owned by the state as national property, offer a glimpse into the prosperous city of Caesarea during the late 11th century.

The discovery has fueled further exploration by Mr. Fayer and the IAA, extending their search for treasures along the Mediterranean coast. From the coastal city of Netanya to the depths near Caesarea, the collaborative effort aims to unravel more mysteries from ancient times.

Caesarea, once a bustling port and trading center ruled by various powers, including the Romans and Herod the Great, stands as a testament to history. The well-preserved ruins and artifacts continue to captivate archaeologists and historians, providing valuable insights into the city’s past as a significant hub in the region.


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