Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Hasmonean-era coin hoard excavated

NUMISMATICS AND ARCHAEOLOGY: Cache of Hasmonean-era silver coins uncovered in Modiin. 2,150-year-old hoard likely buried by a Jew who was never able to return for it, found in dig at agricultural estate that took part in Bar Kochba uprising (Sue Surkes, Times of Israel).
A treasure trove of 2,150-year-old silver coins excavated in the central Israeli city of Modiin apparently belonged to a Jew who had to leave the nearby house but never managed to retrieve his hidden cache.

The 16 coins from the Hasmonean period (2nd-1st century BCE) were concealed in a rock crevice up against a wall of a large agricultural estate, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced on Tuesday.

Excavation director Abraham Tendler said the shekels and half-shekels (tetradrachms and didrachms) were minted in the city of Tyre, now part of Lebanon, and bear the images of the king, Antiochus VII, and his brother Demetrius II.

The finds, discovered prior to the building of a new neighborhood in the city, will be displayed in an archaeological park in the heart of that neighborhood, the Antiquities Authority confirmed.

The discovery of the silver coins provided “compelling evidence that one of the members of the estate who had saved his income for months needed to leave the house for some unknown reason. He buried his money in the hope of coming back and collecting it, but was apparently unfortunate and never returned. It is exciting to think that the coin hoard was waiting here 2,140 years until we exposed it.”

Dr. Donald Tzvi Ariel, head of the Coin Department at the antiquities authority, said the cache contained one or two coins from every year between 135 and 126 BCE.