Dating ancient roman coins
Recreational divers Ran Feinstein and Ofer Ra'anan were exploring the waters of the Mediterranean Sea near the ancient port of Caesarea last month when they stumbled on the wreck of an ancient Roman merchant ship.After they alerted the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) of their find, the organization’s divers recovered a stunning array of artifacts from the shipwreck, including numerous bronze statues and a load of coins imprinted with the image of Emperor Constantine I, best known for spearheading the acceptance of Christianity within the Roman Empire.Officials from the IAA have called the discovery the most significant marine archaeological find of the past 30 years.Named in honor of Augustus Caesar, founder of the Roman Empire, the ancient port of Caesarea served as an important center of early Christianity in the Roman world.After excavating to thirty feet beneath the surface, Mc Ginnis and his friends abandoned the excavation without ever finding anything of significance.
“Because these statues were wrecked together with the ship, they sank in the water and were thus ‘saved’ from the recycling process.” In addition, he says, “The sand protected the statues; consequently they are in an amazing state of preservation – as though they were cast yesterday rather than 1,600 years ago.” The wrecked ship and its cargo date to a period just before Christianity became the formal religion of the Roman Empire.
Eight years later, the Onslow Company sailed to the area to try to recover the supposed treasure, that was assumed to lie hidden at the base of the pit.
Based on the written accounts of the boys, the Onslow Company attempted an excavation of what was now referred to as the “Money Pit.” However, they were eventually forced to abandon their efforts due to flooding.
Numerous searches of the pit continued over the next two centuries, but they have been continually plagued with difficulties including collapses and flooding within the pit.
The entire island has been searched for treasure, and is continued today by Marty and Rick Lagina, as chronicled on .
Within the clearing was a circular depression, and nearby a tackle block hung from a tree.