Coins from revolt against Romans discovered near Jerusalem

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A ceramic money box holding a rare hoard of coins from the Great Revolt against the Romans was discovered outside Jerusalem.

The 114 bronze coins date back to the fourth year of the Great Revolt against the Romans, which led to the destruction of the Second Temple, 2,000 years ago this week. The discovery was made several months ago but announced on Tuesday.

The coins were discovered during the expansion of Route 1, the highway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, in a previously unknown settlement from the late Second Temple period.

“The hoard, which appears to have been buried several months prior to the fall of Jerusalem, provides us with a glimpse into the lives of Jews living on the outskirts of Jerusalem at the end of the rebellion,” Pablo Betzer and Eyal Marco, excavation directors on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, said in a statement. “Evidently someone here feared the end was approaching and hid his property, perhaps in the hope of collecting it later when calm was restored to the region.”

The hoard was concealed in the corner of a room, perhaps inside a wall niche or buried in the floor. Two other rooms and a courtyard belonging to the same building were exposed during the course of the archaeological excavation. The structure was built in the first century BCE.

The Israel Antiquities Authority and the National Transport Infrastructure Company are examining the possibility of preserving the village remains within the framework of the landscape development alongside the highway.