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Ancient Coins with Timely Inscription Discovered in Jerusalem

2000 year old bronze coins (photo: Hebrew University/ASHERNET)

A new archaeological discovery near the Temple Mount’s south wall in Jerusalem is both exciting and timely.

In this week leading up to Passover, a trove of bronze coins from the period of the First Jewish Revolt (66-70 CE) was found in a large cave along with broken pottery that had been used for cooking.

The majority of the bronze coin hoard dates to the revolt’s final year, or Year Four (69-70 CE). They are decorated with Jewish symbols, including the four plant species associated with the holiday of Sukkot — palm, myrtle, citron and willow — and a chalice that may have been used by priests in the Temple. 

The coins display a paleo-Hebrew inscription, which shifted — arguably reflecting the mood of the rebels — during the revolt from earlier years’ “For the Freedom of Zion,” to Year Four’s “For the Redemption of Zion.”

“A discovery like this — ancient coins bearing the words “Freedom” and “Redemption” — found right before the Jewish Festival of Freedom — Passover — begins is incredibly moving,” said Mazar in the press release.

Tags: Inspiration

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