Byzantine Treasure Found in Ancient Trash Pit

Hundreds of coins, intact lamps and even ancient gold jewelry have been found in Israel, curiously discarded hundreds of years ago in a Byzantine garbage dump.

Archaeologists have been excavating the agricultural outskirts of the ancient city of Arsuf, also called Apollonia, just north of Tel Aviv. There, they have found evidence of wine presses, olive presses and traces of buildings used by farmers, but perhaps their most intriguing finds have come out of the Byzantine trash pits at the site.

Researchers Oren Tal of Tel Aviv University and Moshe Ajami of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said one of the garbage heaps was more than 98 feet (30 meters) in diameter and contained fragments of jars, cookware, tableware, glass vessels and animal bones. Along with this trash they also found intact, useable artifacts.

"Among other things, more than four hundred coins were found which are mostly Byzantine, including one gold coin, as well as two hundred whole and intact Samaritan lamps (among them lamps that were never used), rings and gold jewelry," Tal and Ajami said in a statement from the IAA. [See Images of a Byzantine Mosaic]

"Noteworthy among the jewelry is an octagonal ring with parts of verses from the Samaritan Pentateuch engraved in Samaritan script on each of its sides (one side reads: Adonai is his name, another side: One God, and so on)," the researchers added.

 

Apollonia enjoyed more than 1,500 years of occupation, from the Persian period of the late sixth century B.C. through the end of the Crusader period in the 13th century A.D.

During the late Byzantine period, in the fifth, sixth and seventh centuries, the city was called Sozousa and its occupants included both Christians and Samaritans. Previous excavations have revealed a church, plaster-lined pools dating back to this period. The new excavations, funded by the Israel Lands Administration, are taking place ahead of the expansion the city of Herzliya. 

Follow Megan Gannon on Twitter and Google+. Follow us @livescienceFacebook Google+. Original article on LiveScience.

Copyright 2013 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • APEC trade chiefs vow to speed up work in WTO

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Trade ministers from 21 Asia-Pacific countries on Sunday issued strong support to the World Trade Organization's efforts to boost global trade amid a flurry of regional free trade agreements. …

  • Negotiations on TPP in 'end-game', says US trade representative
    Negotiations on TPP in 'end-game', says US trade representative

    Negotiations to form the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade zone are in the "end-game", US Trade Representative Mike Froman said Sunday. Asked about a timetable, Froman said: "We agreed to conclude (the TPP talks) the moment that we have an agreement on an ambitious, comprehensive and high-standard agreement." "The focus will now shift to the US House of Representatives when they come back from recess and we look forward to working with them to get it passed as soon as possible," he …

  • ‘Taklub’ wins jury prize in Cannes
    ‘Taklub’ wins jury prize in Cannes

    The Yolanda-inspired film “Taklub” has won a special award at the Cannes Film Festival in France. The advocacy film, which had a successful premiere last Tuesday under the festival’s Un Certain Regard section, is directed by 2009 Cannes best director Brillante Mendoza and top-billed by Nora Aunor. The award cited the film’s sensitive portrayal of individuals and communities in the Philippines fighting to continue living despite natural disasters exposing them to suffering and death. …

  • Orphan tops chemical engineering board exam
    Orphan tops chemical engineering board exam

    A 21-year-old orphan from Capiz topped the chemical engineering board examinations held this month. Remington Salaya, a cum laude graduate of the Central Philippine University in Iloilo, ranked first in the board examinations with a score of 83.30 percent. Out of 405 chemical engineering graduates who took the exam in mid-May, 239 passed. …

  • A sunset party for APEC delegates
    A sunset party for APEC delegates

    Greeted by the beat of Ati-atihan drummers, delegates of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation trade ministers meeting enjoyed a welcome dinner and cultural presentation at sunset yesterday. Dubbed FuntaSea, Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa’s Banyugan Beach was transformed into a fantasy island, complete with mermaids, fire dancers, and choreographed paraws (sailboat) representing the best of Boracay. With APEC meetings being held all over the Philippines, each presentation is conceptualized …

  • UN chief urges peaceful solution of sea dispute
    UN chief urges peaceful solution of sea dispute

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called Friday for a peaceful solution to territorial disputes in the South China Sea, where China’s increased assertiveness has alarmed its smaller neighbors. In Manila, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. appealed to China to respect various international agreements on freedom of navigation and aviation. Coloma’s call came in the wake of an incident Wednesday where Chinese naval forces warned a US …

  • Phl seeks transparency, inclusivity in Asean-China Center
    Phl seeks transparency, inclusivity in Asean-China Center

    Philippine Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Elizabeth Buensuceso has called on participants of the ASEAN-China Center (ACC) brainstorming session to vigorously work on promoting ASEAN-China relations under the principles of inclusivity, transparency and centrality. The brainstorming session, attended by the ACC’s joint council and joint executive board members, also involved a midterm review of ACC’s work since its establishment in 2011. The ACC aims to promote …

  • Lebanon tightens rules on HSW repatriation
    Lebanon tightens rules on HSW repatriation

    Distressed Filipino domestic helpers in Lebanon may find it more difficult to return home. The government of Lebanon has tightened the rules on repatriation of distressed household service workers (HSWs), Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz reported yesterday. Citing a report from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), Baldoz said the Lebanese government opted to re-impose a previous policy requiring investigation into every case of HSWs who ran away from their employers and sought …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options