Two weeks ago one of the largest gold caches ever discovered in Israel was dug up at the Apollonia National Park by a joint team of archeologists from Tel Aviv University and the Nature and Parks Authority. The treasure is estimated to be worth more than $100,000 in today's dollars. The treasure, hidden in a potsherd under the tiles in one of the rooms of the ancient fortress was first located by Mati Johananoff, a student of the Jacob M. Alkow Department of Archeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures at Tel Aviv University. The fortress and the city beside it were once ruled by the Knights Hospitaller and were one of the most important strategic sites in crusader possession in the area. In the 13th century the stronghold was captured by a Mamluk Sultan and the area has remained an uninhabited ruin ever since. Archeologists now hope digs at the site will help shed light on the last days of the fortress and the crusaders inhabiting it before the siege proved successful and the castle was abandoned. The cache contains over 400 grams of gold overall, consisting of 108 gold coins which were minted in Egypt hundreds of years before making their way to the fortress Two gold coins from the cache would have been enough to sustain an entire family for two years, Professor Oren Tal of Tel Aviv University and head of the Apollonia digging team, informed. A student of from the Department of Archeology at Tel Aviv University found the treasure hidden in a broken pot. Photo Credits: Pavel Shrago, Tel Aviv University Institute of Archaeology The objectives of the crusades was at first to release the Holy Land, in particular Jerusalem, from the Saracens. According to Prof. Tal it's likely the stash was hidden by one of the crusader leaders who wanted to conceal it from the invading Muslims and intended to come back for it some day. It was most likely hidden in a broken pot and covered with sand and earth to ensure the Mamluks disregarded it; a strategy that seems to have remained effective for the better part of 700 years. In the park, there are the remains of the ancient city of Appollonia-Arsuf, acquired in 1101 by the Crusaders, who rebuilt the city walls and built their fortress. Archaeologists have conducted studies among the remains of Appollonia fortress during the last 30 years. The fortress was destroyed along with the entire city in 1265 by the troops of Sultan Baybars of the Mameluke dynasty.