Monday, December 12, 2016

Coin of the second year of the Great Revolt

NUMISMATICS: Minister Regev Presents 67 CE ‘Great Rebellion’ Coin at Cabinet Meeting (JNi.Media).
Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev on Sunday presented at the start of the cabinet meeting a coin discovered by a team of her office about a month ago, as part of the preparation for the public revelation of the Pilgrims’ Road which was recently unearthed at the City of David. The presentation and the planned public event mark the coming jubilee of the liberation and unification of Jerusalem.

The coin bears on one side a vine leaf and the statement “Freedom of Zion.” On the opposite side it bears a standing cup and the statement “Second year of the great rebellion” – the year 67 CE.

Not quite. The coin reads "second year of" (שנת שתים) on one side and "the freedom of Zion" (חרת ציון) on the other. The word order seems a little odd, but I think that the two sides are intended to be read consecutively as a single phrase: "The second year of the freedom of Zion." It was indeed the second year of the so-called Great Rebellion or Great Revolt against Rome, but the coin itself does not use this term. (Follow the link above for a photo.)

This article is a little vague about the origin of the coin, but the Jerusalem Post has clearer coverage on that issue: ‘Free Zion’ coin minted 1,967 years ago unveiled (Herb Keinon).
The coin was uncovered during an excavation about a month ago of a recently uncovered road in Jerusalem. The excavation site will be opened to the public during Hanukka.
The recent UNESCO resolutions that play down the ancient Jewish connection with Jerusalem come in for some not-undeserved ridicule on the basis of this coin. As with the use of the Arch of Titus, at least this time the ancient origin of the artifact is not in question, unlike the case of the Jerusalem Papyrus. Cross-file under Politics.