Nearly 500 invaluable silver coins dating back to the third century BC have been found in an ancient jar in the United Arab Emirates.
The coin bounty was discovered near Sharjah, the third-most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
The coins were found in a large 9-kilogramme pottery jar at the Mleiha archaeological site in February.
After analysing the unearthed items, the Sharjah Archaeology Authority has revealed that the jar contained 409 silver coins.
The Mleiha site has huge archaeological importance and the area used to be a key centre of trade in the Arabian Peninsula.
Sharjah Archaeology Authority director general Sabah Aboud Jasim said: “When this heavy pottery jar was discovered, it was suspected that it would contain rare artefacts.
“Upon carefully opening the pot at the Sharjah Archaeology Authority laboratory, we found it completely filled with numerous silver coins.”
The coins date back to the third century BC and were probably minted and in circulation in the region.
Some of the designs depict key figures from the period such as the Greek god Zeus and Alexander the Great.
The city of Sharjah has managed to preserve the Mleiha site and will be opening up the larger area for sustainable tourism.
The Mleiha Archaeological Centre was launched in 2016, charting the region’s rich history that dates back to the Stone Age.