<p><strong>Though separated by a thousand years, two newfound "emergency hoards" from <a href="http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/countries/israel-guide/">Israel</a>—including gold jewelry and coins—may have been hidden by ancient families fleeing unknown dangers, archaeologists say.</strong></p> <p>Revealed late last month, these 3,000-year-old rings (foreground) and earrings, from the older hoard, were found in a ceramic jug among the ruins of a house. Though unearthed in 2010, the vessel concealed its cargo until late last year, when scientists began molecular analysis of the contents.</p> <p>The valuables likely belonged to wealthy Canaanites—a Semitic people who inhabited ancient Palestine and Phoenicia beginning about 5,000 years ago—according to Tel Aviv University archaeologist<a href="http://www.tau.ac.il/humanities/archaeology/directory/dir_israel_finkelstein.html"> Israel Finkelstein</a>, who led the excavation.</p> <p>Discovered near <a href="https://sites.google.com/site/megiddoexpedition/home">Megiddo</a>—the biblical site of Armageddon—the trove is, according to <a href="http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/History/Early History - Archaeology/Rare_trove_jewelry_Megiddo_May_2012.htm?WBCMODE=PrEditorials-24-Dec-2009">Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs</a>, "among the most valuable ever found from the Biblical period."</p> <p>(Related <a href="http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/11/gold-hoard/clark-photography?source=news_israel_gold">pictures: Gold hoard</a> is largest known Anglo-Saxon treasure.)</p> <p>—<em>Brian Handwerk</em></p>

"Among the Most Valuable"

Though separated by a thousand years, two newfound "emergency hoards" from Israel—including gold jewelry and coins—may have been hidden by ancient families fleeing unknown dangers, archaeologists say.

Revealed late last month, these 3,000-year-old rings (foreground) and earrings, from the older hoard, were found in a ceramic jug among the ruins of a house. Though unearthed in 2010, the vessel concealed its cargo until late last year, when scientists began molecular analysis of the contents.

The valuables likely belonged to wealthy Canaanites—a Semitic people who inhabited ancient Palestine and Phoenicia beginning about 5,000 years ago—according to Tel Aviv University archaeologist Israel Finkelstein, who led the excavation.

Discovered near Megiddo—the biblical site of Armageddon—the trove is, according to Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "among the most valuable ever found from the Biblical period."

(Related pictures: Gold hoard is largest known Anglo-Saxon treasure.)

Brian Handwerk

Photograph by Dan Balilty, AP

Pictures: "Emergency" Gold Treasures Found in Holy Land

Two newfound "emergency hoards" from Israel—gold jewelry and coins—may have been hidden by ancient families fleeing unknown dangers.

Read This Next

These 5 ancient cities once ruled North America
Tonga's volcanic eruption was even more massive than we knew
5 train trips for car-free weekends in North America

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet