Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Coins dating from Bar Kochba era found!

Israeli archaeologist Emil Aladjem holds up one of four extremely rare Roman era gold coins, near a gold ring and ear ring as well as some 140 silver coins (C,L) and several cosmetic implements (C-R), inside the Israeli Archaeology Authority headquarters in Jerusalem, Israel, 05 June 2012. EPA/JIM HOLLANDER
Archaeologists have discovered a treasure comprising of about 140 pieces of gold and silver coins, with gold jewelry, probably hidden by a rich lady in a time of imminent danger during the Bar Kochba revolt of some 1880 years ago.

The Israel Antiquities Authority or IAA presented the find on Tuesday and said it was recently exposed in an excavation in the vicinity of Kiryat Gat in southern Israel.

The rooms of a building dating from Roman and Byzantine period were exposed during the course of the excavation. Archaeologists discerned that a well had been dug in the ground of the courtyard of the old building and refilled. To the surprise of archaeologists, a spectacular treasure of exquisite quality was discovered in the well. It was wrapped in a fabric cloth that had deteriorated.

According to archaeologist Emilio Aladjem, who directed the excavation on behalf of the IAA, "The magnificent treasure includes gold jewelry, including a pendant handmade by a jeweler in the form of a flower and a ring with a gemstone in which is a hallmark of a winged goddess, two silver bars were probably kohl sticks and some 140 gold and silver coins."

"The coins were discovered dating from the reigns of Roman emperors Nero, Nerva and Trajan, who ruled the Roman Empire between 54-117 CE. The coins are adorned with images of the emperors and their reverse side are the representations of cults of the emperor, symbols of the brotherhood of warriors and mythological gods like Jupiter seated on a throne or Jupiter catch lightning in his hand."

Saar Ganor, an archaeologist in the district of Ashkelon and Western Negev of the  IAA added that "the composition of numismatic artifacts and quality are consistent with hidden treasures that have been previously attributed to the time of the revolt of Bar Kochba. During the uprising, between 132
-135 AD, the Jews under Roman rule would mint coins of Emperor Trajan with the symbols of the revolt. "

"This treasure includes gold and silver coins of different denominations, most of them dating from the reign of Emperor Trajan.
This is probably a cache of emergency that was concealed at the time of imminent danger by a wealthy woman who wraps her jewels and money in a cloth and hid deep in the soil before or during the Bar Kochba revolt. It is now clear that the owner never returned to claim the treasure."

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