Archaeologists from the University of North Carolina found a gold coin in Jerusalem with the face of the Roman Emperor Nero imprinted on the front, which researchers say dates to around 56 CE.
The coin has been dated to 56 CE, about 23 years after Christians believe Jesus was crucified, and 14 years before the destruction of the Jewish Temple. It was minted just two years after Nero, the last emperor in the Julio-Claudian dynasty, acceded to the throne in 54 CE.
The coin, showing Nero bare-headed, was discovered by archaeologists from the University of North Carolina digging atop Mount Zion in Jerusalem, the university said this week…
James Tabor, UNC Charlotte professor of religious studies, noted that the coin dates “to the same year of St. Paul’s last visit to Jerusalem, which resulted in his arrest (on the charge of taking Gentiles into the Temple) and incarceration in Caesarea.”