Aaron Oppenheim passed along this article about a find in Israel of a half shekel from the first Jewish revolt. Thanks.
A 2,000-year-old silver half-shekel bearing the Hebrew inscription
Holy Jerusalem has been discovered in the Judean desert, the Israel Antiquities Authority revealed on Tuesday.
The rare coin, dated to 66/67 C.E., the days of the first Jewish revolt against the Romans, was discovered at the entrance to a cave near Ein Gedi. The find was part of a cave survey operation, now in its sixth year, that the IAA is managing in cooperation with the Israeli Heritage Ministry and an archaeology staff officer at the Civil Administration.
Recently, as part of the survey, IAA inspectors had reached a section of a cliff along one of the streams in the Ein Gedi area, and noticed the coin sticking out of the ground at the entrance to one of the cliffside caves.
Yaniv David Levy, a researcher in the IAA's Coin Department, said,
You can see an inscription written in unvowelized Hebrew… on this coin from the first year of the rebellion. This may be proof of the process of formulating inscriptions… in later years of the rebellion, the inscription ‘Holy Jerusalem' is written in plene spelling [in which letters normally omitted are present].
He noted also that the Ein Gedi coin features three pomegranates in the center of the coin,
a familiar symbol on the Israeli pound, used by the State of Israel until 1980.
A goblet appears on the other side, and above it the Hebrew letter alef is inscribed, indicating the first year of the rebellion, as well as the inscription
Hatzi Shekel [half shekel], indicating the value of the coin.
The goblet was a symbol typical of the coins used by the Jewish population in the late Second Temple period. These coins were minted in values ??of
half shekel during the first rebellion against the Romans, which took place in the Land of Israel from 66 to 70 C.E. This rebellion ended in the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.
To read the complete article, see:
Rare Great Revolt-era half-shekel found in Judean desert
Wayne Homren, Editor
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