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Sunday, 16 December 2012

The Crusaders' last stand: Pot of gold worth £300,000 found in fortress where it was buried by doomed force of Christian knights


A pot of gold from the Crusades worth up to $500,000 has been found buried in an ancient Roman fortress in Israel.

The coins were buried by Christian soldiers of the order of the Knights Hospitalier as the Crusaders faced an unstoppable attack by a huge Muslim army.

The knights were annihilated in April 1265.

The coins - worth a fortune even in 1265 when they were thought to have been buried - were deliberately hidden inside a broken jug to prevent them being discovered.

The fortress was destroyed in April 1265 by forces of Mamluks who overwhelmed the Crusaders - and the treasure only survived due to the quick thinking of one of the defenders.

'It was in a small juglet, and it was partly broken,' Oren Tal of the University of Tel Aviv told Fox News.
'The idea was to put something broken in the ground and fill it with sand, in order to hide the gold coins within. If by chance somebody were to find the juglet, he won’t excavate it, he won’t look inside it to find the gold coins. Once we started to sift it, the gold came out.'

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