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          Israeli archaeologists discover seven gold coins dating back to 1,200 years ago. (Xinhua/Israel Antiquities Authority)

          JERUSALEM -- Israeli archaeologists discovered a hoard of seven gold coins dating back to 1,200 years ago, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) reported on Sunday.

          The coins, from the early Islamic period, were discovered in a broken clay juglet during excavations in the city of Yavne in central Israel.

          The excavation revealed a wide industrial area that had been active for centuries.

          The archaeologists suggest that the shiny treasure may have been a potter's personal "piggy bank."

          One of the coins is the gold dinar of the Caliph Harun al-Rashid (ruling between 786-809 AD), on whom the popular story "Arabian Nights" also known as "One Thousand and One Nights" was based.

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          The large-scale excavation revealed an unusually large amount of pottery kilns that were active at the end of the Byzantine and beginning of the early Islamic period (AD 7-9th centuries).
          An aerial photo of the excavation which discovers seven gold coins dating back to 1,200 years ago. (Xinhua/Israel Antiquities Authority)

          The kilns were for commercial production of store jars, cooking pots and bowls. The gold hoard was found inside a small juglet, near the entrance to one of the kilns.

          In a different area of the site, the remains of a large industrial installation were revealed, dated back to the Persian period (BC 4-5th centuries) used for wine production.

          On the site, ancient grape pips (seeds) were discovered, as the size and number of vats found there indicate that wine was produced on a commercial scale. (Xinhua)


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