Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Rare Hoard of Year Four Coins Discovered along Highway

A ceramic money box filled with 114 bronze coins from “Year Four” of the First Jewish Revolt was discovered recently in excavations along the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv Highway. From the Israel Antiquities Authority:

According to Pablo Betzer and Eyal Marco, excavation directors on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “The hoard, which appears to have been buried several months prior to the fall of Jerusalem, provides us with a glimpse into the lives of Jews living on the outskirts of Jerusalem at the end of the rebellion. Evidently someone here feared the end was approaching and hid his property, perhaps in the hope of collecting it later when calm was restored to the region”. All of the coins are stamped on one side with a chalice and the Hebrew inscription “To the Redemption of Zion” and on the other side with a motif that includes a bundle of lulav between two etrogs. Around this is the Hebrew inscription “Year Four”, that is, the fourth year of the Great Revolt of the Jews against the Romans (69/70 CE).

The hoard was concealed in the corner of a room, perhaps inside a wall niche or buried in the floor. Two other rooms and a courtyard belonging to the same building were exposed during the course of the archaeological excavation. The structure was built in the first century BCE and was destroyed in 69 or 70 CE when the Romans were suppressing the Great Revolt.  Early in the second century CE part of the building was reinhabited for a brief period, which culminated in the destruction of the Jewish settlement in Judea as a result of the Bar Kokhba rebellion. This is attested to by three complete jars that were discovered embedded in the courtyard floor.

The full story is here. The story is also reported by Arutz-7 and The Times of Israel.

HT: Joseph Lauer


Hoard of coins in situ


Pablo Betzer, IAA District Archaeologist for Judah, with a coin from the Year Four of the Great Revolt.


All photos courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

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