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Archaeologists Find 2,200-Year-Old Gold Coin

Archaeologists in Israel say they have uncovered a 2,200-year-old gold coin that is the heaviest and most valuable ever found in the country.

The Israel Antiquities Authority said Thursday the coin was discovered in June in the ruins of the ancient village of Tel Kedesh near the border with Lebanon.

It says the gold coin is six times heavier than others previously found in Israel. The head of the Israeli authority's coin department Donald Ariel says the coin is in "excellent preservation."

He says it was minted in the Egyptian city of Alexandria during the period of the Ptolemaic Kingdom and dates to around 200 BC.

The head of the coin portrays Queen Arsinoe II Philadelphus, while the reverse side illustrates overlapping cornucopias (horn-shaped ornaments) decorated with fillets (ribbons).

U.S. researchers working for the University of Michigan and University of Minnesota found the coin in the remains of a Hellenistic administrative building. They began excavations at Tel Kedesh in 1997.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.