Archaeologists Uncover Ancient Shipwrecks, Find Hundreds Of Silver Coins From Almost 2,000 Years Ago

(Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images)

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Harry Wilmerding Contributor
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Archaeologists discovered two ancient shipwrecks off the Mediterranean cost filled with ancient coins from 2,000 years ago, the Associated Press reported.

Artifacts from the discovery, made near the ancient city of Caesarea, date back to the Roman and Mamluk periods, nearly 1,700 and 600 years ago, respectively, according to the AP. The findings included hundreds of silver and bronze coins dating to the middle of the third century, with more than 500 silver coins dating back to the Middle Ages.

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) found the artifacts during an underwater search over the last two months, Jacob Sharvit, head of the IAA’s unit, told the AP. (RELATED: At Least 64 Dead After Boat Crashes In Ocean. Search Helicopter Crashes Too, Leaving Top Minister To Swim For 12 Hours)

Figurines, bells, ceramics and pieces of metal once part of the ship were among the other artifacts found near the ancient city, according to the AP. The agency also reportedly discovered a Roman gold ring with a green gemstone carved with an image of a shepherd carrying a sheep.

The head of the IAA’s coin department, Robert Kool, called the ring “exceptional,” the AP reported. “On the gemstone is engraved an image of the ‘Good Shepherd,’ which is really one of the earliest symbols of Christianity,” he added.

The sunken Roman ship is believed to be from Italy based on its style, and some of the artifacts found, Kool added.

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