Israel’s second-ever astronaut, Eytan Stibbe, has chosen to take the 1,900-year-old coin with him on the Rakia mission to the International Space Station, scheduled for early next year. Stibbe said that he is taking the artifact with him as a symbol of his Jewish heritage.This is very cool, but I totally would have chosen the Enoch fragments.
The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said in a statement on Thursday that Stibbe has recently visited the IAA’s Dead Sea Scrolls laboratory in Jerusalem, where he was shown various artifacts, including the coin, as well as 2,000-year-old fragments of the Book of Enoch.
That book tells the story of Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah, who ascended to the heavens and was accompanied by angels who showed him the sun, the moon and the stars.
Stibbe ultimately elected to take the coin along, rather than the ancient fragments.
The coin was discovered in the Cave of Horror in Nahal Hever, where archaeologists recently recovered new fragments of an ancient Greek scroll of the Minor Prophets.
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