A rare 2,000-year-old silver shekel coin, thought to have been minted on the Temple Mount plaza from the plentiful silver reserves held there at the time, has been uncovered in Jerusalem.On his e-mail list, Joseph Lauer has corrected an error that has crept into the English version of the press release and from there into some English articles, including the one above:
If it were indeed minted there, it would make the coin one of the very few items uncovered that were manufactured at the holy site.
The coin, found by an 11-year-old girl, Liel Krutokop, during a sifting project for dirt removed from an archaeological dig at the City of David National Park, was engraved with “second year,” i.e., the second year of the Great Jewish Revolt against the Romans (67-68 CE).
Beware, though, of item 5, described in the English release as “The silver coin with the headquarters of the High Priest and the inscription ‘Holy Jerusalem.’” In this case it is a mistranslation of “מטה” (here meaning “staff” or “rod” not “headquarters”) in the Hebrew release’s “מטבע הכסף ועליו מטה הכהן הגדול והכיתוב ירושלים הקדושה.” Thus, the description should read “The silver coin with the staff of the High Priest and the inscription ‘Holy Jerusalem.” Some (but not all) of the media articles have the same error, following the language of the English release, “On the other side of the coin is an inscription identified by scholars as the headquarters of the High Priest, and next to it appears in ancient Hebrew script the words: ‘Holy Jerusalem.’”
Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.