A Treasure from Beersheba

A treasure trove from World War I is uncovered in the Beersheba region


On October 31, 1917 one of the most important battles took place in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign, under General Edmund Allenby, commander in chief of the British Forces in this World War I theater of operations. The battle of Beersheba will be remembered as one of the most decisive in the comprehensive British offensive against the Turkish line of defense between Gaza and Beersheba, and in the conquest of Jerusalem and the rest of


Palestine. The battle reached its climax when the Australian and New Zealand Desert Mounted Corps entered Beersheba from the east, taking the city and the remains of the Turkish fortifications. This brought an end to 400 years of Ottoman rule.
Ninety years later, on October 10, 2007, during a survey prior to the laying of a natural gas pipeline in the Beersheba region, some three kilometers west of Maras Hablim (Givat Hablanim), the remains of the fortifications of a military base dating from World War I were uncovered. According to the chronicles and maps of the period, the base belonged to the 48th Brigade of the Turkish army's 16th Division. A clay urn was found among the still visible remains of the camp and its fortifications, containing a treasure trove of 92 gold and silver European and Ottoman coins from the end of the 19th century.
The trove is displayed by courtesy of Eyal Zevuloni and Idan Shapira, who uncovered it.

Curator: Cecilia Meir