Monday, December 22, 2008

A BYZANTINE-ERA COIN HOARD has been found in Jerusalem:
Israeli archaeologists find rare gold coins

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Some Israeli archaeologists are having a particularly happy Hanukkah.

The Israel Antiquities Authority reported a thrilling find Sunday -- the discovery of 264 ancient gold coins in Jerusalem National Park.

The coins were minted during the early 7th century.


The 1,400-year-old coins were found in the Giv'ati car park in the City of David in the walls around Jerusalem National Park, a site that has yielded other finds, including a well-preserved gold earring with pearls and precious stones.

They were in a collapsed building that dates back to the 7th century, the end of the Byzantine period. The coins bear a likeness of Heraclius, who was the Byzantine emperor from 610 to 641.

For that gold earring, see here. Looks like they took my advice and felt behind the sofa cushions.

(Again, via the Agade list.)

UPDATE: Reader Carla Sulzbach reminds me that another gold coin hoard (15 from the late Second Temple period) was found near Jerusalem earlier this year. That same site (Kibbutz Ramat Rachel) also produced another Byzantine-era hoard of coins, but not gold ones.