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Hoard of Coins from 1,400-year-old Byzantine Site Tells Story of Persian Invasion

(Photo: IAA/ASHERNET)

In 614 CE, Christian residents hid their valuables on the main route marched by Jewish and Sassanid soldiers during the Persian conquest of Jerusalem. Today, researchers have found a collection of coins that were hidden.

As a Persian army supported by a horde of Jewish rebels marched on Jerusalem in 614 CE, Christians inhabiting a town on the main route inland to the city hid a hoard of valuables in the hope of returning in more peaceful times.

Fast-forward 1,400 years to the summer of 2016, when Israeli engineers were widening that same highway, running from the Mediterranean past Abu Ghosh west of the capital, and archaeologists were called in to excavate some Byzantine ruins. Beneath the rubble of a building they found a hoard of nine copper coins dating to around 614 CE, when a Persian empire briefly reigned in Jerusalem just before the rise of Islam.

Tags: Facts and Findings

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