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Rare Marble Horde found in Acre

Israel Government Tourist Office  Midwest Region

Press Release

 

 

350 RARE PIECES OF MARBLE UNCOVERED IN ACRE

 

Jerusalem, Israel - 10 November 2009 - A hoard of 350 marble items that had been collected from destroyed buildings during the Crusader period (13th century CE) was uncovered in an excavation near the Old City wall of Acre.

Marble Objects from Crusader AcreArcheologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority discovered a cellar that had been previously covered by collapsed stones and beams. Underneath the cellar floor was a collection of 350 marble items and colored stones. Some of the objects date from the Roman and Byzantine periods, and were likely imported to Acre - an important trading center - to be used in construction of new buildings.

According to Dr. Edna Stern, the excavation's director: "Just as there is a trend today to incorporate wooden doors from India or roof tiles from old buildings in Italy in modern villas, at that time they used to integrate ancient architectural items from the Roman and Byzantine periods in their construction... We know from written sources that they bought and sold such stones, which were exceptionally valuable, to be reused in buildings. We can assume that the owner of the hoard, whether he was a merchant or he collected the stones for his own construction, was aware of impending danger and therefore buried the valuable stones until such time as the tension abated."

Dr. Stern and her team determined that the collapse that was found above the collection is evidence of the building's destruction in 1291 CE, when Crusader Acre was conquered and devastated by the Mamluks. The marble hoard was removed from the field and transferred to the Israel Antiquities Authority for further study.


Photo credit: Israel Antiquities Authority

                       

 

 

 

 

 

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