Monday, March 20, 2017

Byzantine-era coin hoard found near Jerusalem

NUMISMATICS: Hoard of coins from 1,400-year-old Byzantine site tells story of Persian invasion. As Jewish and Sassanid troops marched on Jerusalem in 614 CE, Christian residents of village on main pilgrimage route hid their valuables; now, nine copper coins hidden in a niche have been recovered (Ilan Ben Zion, Times of Israel).
As a Persian army supported by a horde of Jewish rebels marched on Jerusalem in 614 CE, Christians inhabiting a town on the main route inland to the city hid a hoard of valuables in the hope of returning in more peaceful times.

Fast-forward 1,400 years to the summer of 2016, when Israeli engineers were widening that same highway, running from the Mediterranean past Abu Ghosh west of the capital, and archaeologists were called in to excavate some Byzantine ruins. Beneath the rubble of a building they found a hoard of nine copper coins dating to around 614 CE, when a Persian empire briefly reigned in Jerusalem just before the rise of Islam.

For the gold hoard found at the base of the Temple Mount in 2013, see here and here.