Published: Tuesday, 07 December 2021 22:29
Liel Krutokop, an 11-year-old girl from Petah Tikva, has found a silver shekel from the Second Temple period on the ‘Pilgrimage Road’ in the City of David, Jerusalem, Israel.
“The silver coin weighs about 14 grams. On one side is an inscription of a cup with the caption ‘Israeli shekel’ and next to the cup are the letters ‘ש”ב’ — shorthand for ‘second year’ — the second year of the Great Revolt of the Jews against the Romans (67-68 CE),” said Dr. Ari Levy, director of the excavations from the Israel Antiquities Authority, and colleagues.
“On the other side of the coin is an inscription identified as the headquarters of the High Priest, and next to it appears in ancient Hebrew script the words ‘Holy Jerusalem’.”
“This is a rare find, since out of many thousands of coins discovered to date in archeological excavations, only about 30 coins are coins made of silver, from the period of the Great Revolt,” said Dr. Robert Kool, head of the Coin Department at the Israel Antiquities Authority.
“The silver from which the coin was made came from the plentiful silver reserves in the Temple, and that it was minted on the Temple Mount plaza — possibly by one of the priests, who worked in coordination with the rebel leaders and assisted them.”
“Where else could you find silver in such quantity and such high quality in those days? Only in the Temple.”
“If so, we can say with caution that this coin is, apparently, one of the only items we can hold today that originated on the Temple itself.”
The rare coin was found on the ‘Pilgrimage Road’ in the City of David by Liel Krutokop from Petah Tikva, who came with her parents and sister to do archeological sifting.
“We poured the bucket with the dirt on the strainer, and as we filtered the stones that were inside, I saw something round,” Liel said.
“The Pilgrimage Road, which connected the Siloam Pool in the south of the City of David to the Temple Mount in the north, was Jerusalem’s main street during the Second Temple period, where thousands of pilgrims marched on their way to the Temple,” Dr. Levy said.
“There is no doubt that there would have been extensive trading here. This is evidenced by the many weights and bronze coins we have found here. But to find a rebel coin made of pure silver is definitely very special and exciting.”
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