Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Bar Kokhba coin found in Jerusalem

ARCHAEOLOGICAL NUMISMATICS: ‘Year 2 of freedom’: Ancient coin from Bar Kochba revolt found near Temple Mount. Israel Antiquities Authority reveals the coin, one of only four from the era to be discovered in the area, to mark Lag B’Omer holiday (Times of Israel).

This holiday is traditionally associated with the early second-century Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai (Yohai). He is the traditional (but pseudepigraphic) author of the Zohar. Lag B'Omer is also associated with the Bar Kokhba Revolt.

In recent years the IAA has saved up archaeological treats for Lag B'Omer: in 2017 the public opening of a complex of caves used by the Bar Kokhba rebels and in 2018 announcement of the discovery of another Bar Kokhba coin, this one recovered in a cave in Modi'in.

Another coin from year two of the Bar Kokhba revolt was found in the Lachish area in 2019.

As the article notes, very few Bar Kokhba coins have been discovered in Jerusalem. This is one of a number of reasons for concluding that the rebels never re-took the city. This Jerusalem Post article by Rossella Tercatin has additional details: Ancient coin tied to Jewish rebellion against Romans found in Jerusalem. Out of 22,000 ancient coins found in the Old City, only four can be traced back to Bar Kochba rebellion.

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