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Caver Discovers 2,300-Year-Old Silver Stash in Israel

Monday, March 9, 2015

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL—A member of the Israeli Caving Club discovered a cache of valuable objects while exploring a stalactite cave in northern Israel and reported his find to the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). Two silver coins minted during the reign of Alexander the Great; silver signet rings, bracelets, and earrings; and eight white and black agate beads stored in a small clay oil lamp are thought to have been placed in a cloth pouch before being hidden in a niche in the cave. “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, a time when the Wars of the Diadochi broke out in Israel between Alexander’s heirs following his death,” according the a statement made by the IAA and reported by CNN. When archaeologists investigated the cave, they found many crevasses that could hold hidden artifacts. “At this point they believe they have found artifacts in the cave that first date to the Chalcolithic period c. 6,000 years ago; from the Early Bronze Age c. 5,000 years ago, the Biblical period 3,000 years ago and the Hellenistic period approximately 2,300 years ago,” according to the IAA statement. To read in-depth about a massive excavation project in Israel, see "Excavating Tel Kedesh."

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