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Jerusalem Unearths Ancient Fatimid Period Gold Coin

Fatimid Coin
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EDITOR NOTE: Here’s another fascinating article on unearthed gold coins found in Israel--this one dating back to the 900s CE. Gold held plenty of value then as a functioning currency, and gold coins still hold value today as a store of value to protect functioning (fiat) currency as its value and material devalue further, fading into digital oblivion.

“The coins were in excellent preservation and were immediately identifiable even without cleaning,” said Dr. Robert Kool, a coin expert with the Israel Antiquities Authority.

“The coins date from a relatively brief period, from the late 940s to the 970s CE (Fatimid period).”

“This was a time of radical political change, when control over the Land of Israel passed from the Sunni Abbasid caliphate, whose capital was Baghdad, Iraq, into the hands of its Shiite rivals — the Fatimid dynasty of North Africa, who conquered Egypt, Syria and the Land of Israel in those years.”

Two gold dinars from the cache were minted in Ramla during the rule of Caliph al-Muti (946-974 CE) and his regional governor, Abu Ali al-Qasim ibn al-Ihshid Unujur (946-961 CE).

The other two coins were minted in Cairo by the Fatimid rulers al-Muizz (953-975 CE) and his successor, al-Aziz (975-996 CE).

“This is the first time in 50 years that a gold cache from the Fatimid period has been discovered in Jerusalem’s Old City,” Dr. Kool said.

“In the large-scale excavations directed by Professor Benjamin Mazar after the Six Day War, not far from the current discovery, five coin and jewelry hoards from this period were uncovered south of the Temple Mount.”

“Four dinars was a considerable sum of money for most of the population, who lived under difficult conditions at the time,” he said.

“It was equal to the monthly salary of a minor official, or four months’ salary for a common laborer.”

“Compared with those people, the small handful of wealthy officials and merchants in the city earned huge salaries and amassed vast wealth.”

“A senior treasury official could earn 7,000 gold dinars a month, and also receive additional incomes from his rural estates amounting to hundreds of thousands of gold dinars a year.”

Originally posted on Sci-News

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