(Clara Amit/Israel Antiquities Authority)  

(Clara Amit/Israel Antiquities Authority)  

By Jethro Mullen and Oren Liebermann - March 9, 2015

Originally appeared here on CNN.com 

Hen Zakai loves exploring darkness. In his spare time, he lowers himself into the underground world of hidden caves to navigate the nooks and crevasses of a very different environment.

Zakai was recently spelunking with his father and a friend, all of whom are members of the Israeli Caving Club, when Zakai spotted a shiny silver object in one of the most well-hidden stalactite caves in northern Israel.

As Zakai moved in for a closer look, he found two ancient silver coins stashed inside a nook. The coins were meant to be hidden, perhaps to be retrieved at a later date. Instead, they lay in secret for more than 2,000 years in a small hoard that will give archaeologists a valuable insight into ancient Israel. 

"We saw the pictures of some of the items that were found in the cave," says Eitan Klein, deputy director of the Antiquities Theft Prevention Unit at Israel Antiquities Authority, "and we understood that we are talking about something very, very unique." Read More