BAR 20:01, Jan/Feb 1994
1994 Excavation Opportunities
Prize Find: Caesarea Maritima Yields More Treasures
One of Israels richest archaeological sitesabounding with sculpture, mosaics, pottery, glassware, coins and moreCaesarea Maritima still holds surprises after 21 years of excavation, as two discoveries last season show. In a curious reprise of the recent silver-cache finds at Tel Miqne-Ekron,a volunteers from Concordia College (Moorhead, Minnesota), working at Caesarea under Dr. Olin Storvick, uncovered a hoard of 99 solidi (above), gold coins of the later Roman empire. Found beneath a fragmented mosaic pavement in a room that was probably part of a private dwelling, the coins date to between 344 and 395 A.D. The coins owner had secreted them inside a makeshift safe, part of a basalt mill stone (shown in photo) that already lay beneath the floor level. A wooden beam by which a donkey turned the mill originally fit into the square opening in the mill stone. The owner had stacked the coins neatly inside this opening and had sealed the opening with white plaster, no doubt never imagining that the coins would remain safe for 1,600 years.