While there is no pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, a pot of gold was discovered in a 19th century castle of Richard the Lionheart.
According to the Daily Mail, a pot of gold coins has been found hidden under the floor of a 13th century Crusader castle on the spot where Richard the Lionheart defeated Saladin. All 108 coins equal one of the biggest collections found in Israel. The coins were found in a ceramic pot buried beneath a tile floor of the cliff top coastal ruins at Arsuf.
According to archaeologist at Tel Aviv University Professor Oren Tal, “It is a rare find. We do not have a lot of gold that had been circulated by the Crusaders. The scientific value is unprecedented. This is the first hoard of gold coins we have in Israel that we can date to the Crusader period.” The location that the coins were found in, Arsuf, was once known as Apollonia and is famously known as the site where Richard I beat Muslim leader Saladin’s army on 7 September 1191. The stronghold was used from 1241 until its destruction in 1265.
The coins that were found were mainly dinars, or Arab coins, that dated back to the Fatimid Period of 900 to 1100 AD and were discovered by a university student during a dig. Professor Tal believes the coins bear a true significance as they give a vital clue as to how major transactions were made at a time where two of the world’s greatest cultures clashed.
Professor Tal states how minting coins shows a culture has the wealth and ability to make its own currency which gives them sense of independence and identity. While it is hard to determine exactly how much the money was worth at the time of its creation, a document found in the Cairo Genizah, a collection of Jewish manuscript fragments found in the Egyptian capital, hints that just two of the gold dinars found could provide for an extended family of 12 to 24 people for a month.
While the finding of the gold is among the most significant find, other key artifacts such as pottery, glass and metal objects, arrowheads, and catapult stones were found in the castle as well, providing much insight into a time very much unknown by historians and providing clues to interactions between the Islamic and Christian worlds.
Pot of Gold was Discovered in a 19th Century Castle of Richard the Lionheart.