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October 22, 2016 / 20 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘coins’

Rare Cache of Silver Coins From Hasmonean Period Found in Modi’in

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

More proof that Jews lived and prospered in the Land of Israel long before the so-called “Palestinian Arabs” ever walked this piece of real estate…

During the time of the Hasmoneans, a Jewish family of means owned an estate in Modi’in which had an olive grove and a press with which to produce olive oil, as well as vineyards and wine presses for the production of wine. And the family patriarch was a coin collector.

He was clearly a man of means: but something must have happened, and the family was forced to flee. Just before quitting their estate, he hid his coins between the massive stones in a wall, hoping to retrieve them later. But it was not to be, and it is only now, millennia later, his fellow Jews have discovered the treasure, and are learning his story.

* * *

The hoard of silver coins dating to the Hasmonean period (126 BCE) was exposed in April, in an archaeological excavation the Israel Antiquities Authority is currently conducting near Modi‘in, with the participation of local youth. The excavation is being carried out prior to the construction of a new neighborhood, at the initiative of the Modi‘in-Maccabim-Re‘ut municipality. The treasure was hidden in a rock crevice, up against a wall of an impressive agricultural estate that was discovered during the excavation there.

 IAA archaeologist Shahar Krispin during the discovery of the silver coin hoard that was found in the estate house in Modi'in.

IAA archaeologist Shahar Krispin during the discovery of the silver coin hoard that was found in the estate house in Modi’in.

Avraham Tendler, director of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, said “This is a rare cache of silver coins from the Hasmonean period comprised of shekels and half-shekels (tetradrachms and didrachms) that were minted in the city of Tyre and bear the images of the king, Antiochus VII and his brother Demetrius II.

“The cache that we found is compelling evidence that one of the members of the estate who had saved his income for months needed to leave the house for some unknown reason. He buried his money in the hope of coming back and collecting it, but was apparently unfortunate and never returned.

“It is exciting to think that the coin hoard was waiting here 2,140 years until we exposed it,” Tendler said.

“The cache, which consists of 16 coins, contains one or two coins from every year between 135–126 BCE, and a total of nine consecutive years are represented, explained Dr. Donald Tzvi Ariel, head of the Coin Department at the Israel Antiquities Authority.

“It seems that some thought went into collecting the coins, and it is possible that the person who buried the cache was a coin collector. He acted in just the same way as stamp and coin collectors manage collections today.”

“The findings from our excavation show that it was a Jewish family that established an agricultural estate on this hill during the Hasmonean period,” Tendler added.

Aerial photograph of the Hasmonean estate house in Modi'in.

Aerial photograph of the Hasmonean estate house in Modi’in.

“The family members planted olive trees and vineyards on the neighboring hills and grew grain in valleys. An industrial area that includes an olive press and storehouses where the olive oil was kept is currently being uncovered next to the estate.

“Dozens of rock-hewn winepresses that reflect the importance of viticulture and the wine industry in the area were exposed in the cultivation plots next to the estate. The estate house was built of massive walls in order to provide security from the attacks of marauding bandits.”

Hana Levi Julian

Israel Museum Buys 1,500-Year-Old Persian Coin Collection

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

The Israel Museum has bought more than 1,200 silver coins that were used in Persia in the 4th and 5th centuries and which includes several rare coins.

Referring to a rare silver artifact called the “first Jewish coin” because of the inscription of the word “Judea” in Aramaic, the museum’s chief curator of archaeology, Chaim Gitler, told the Times of Israel, “It’s the earliest coin from the province of Judea.”

The “Jewish coin” was reportedly found in the southern Hevron Hills, between Hevron and Be’er Sheva, and was bought by New York collector Jonathan Rosen, who agreed to donate his collection to the Israel Museum.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Hoard of 1,500-Year-Old Coins Found in Ancient Garbage Dump

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Archaeologists and researchers are trying to figure out why a recently found treasure of 1,500-year-old coins and other artifacts was buried in Byzantine era refuse pits.

The excavations, on behalf of the Tel Aviv University and the Israel Antiquities Authority, are being carried out prior to expanding the city of Herzliya, immediately north of Tel Aviv.

Numerous finds dating to the Late Byzantine period of the 5th-7th centuries were among the antiquities discovered in excavations conducted in the agricultural hinterland of the ancient city of Apollonia-Arsuf, located east of the site.

Among the finds uncovered are installations for processing the agricultural produce such as wine presses, and what also might be the remains of an olive press, as well as remains of walls that were apparently part of the ancillary buildings that were meant to serve local farmers.

“The most intriguing find in the area is a number of Byzantine refuse pits,” said Tel Aviv University Prof. Oren Tal and Moshe Ajami of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

“One of them is especially large – more than 100 feet in diameter –  and contained fragments of pottery vessels, fragments of glass vessels, industrial glass waste and animal bones.

“In the midst of the many shards that were discovered in the big refuse pit was a large amount of usable artifacts, whose presence in the pit raises questions. Among other things, more than four hundred coins were found which are mostly Byzantine, including one gold coin, as well as two hundred whole and intact Samaritan lamps, among them lamps that were never used, rings and gold jewelry.”

Noteworthy among the jewelry is an octagonal ring with parts of verses from the Samaritan Pentateuch engraved in Samaritan script on each of its sides. One side reads, “Adonai is his name,” and another side reads, “One God….”

Approximately a dozen Samaritan rings have been published so far in scientific literature, and this ring constitutes an important addition given the assemblage in which it was discovered.

The excavation site once served as the agricultural hinterland of Apollonia-Arsuf, which is located west of the excavation area and what is today the Apollonia National Park. Archaeological excavations conducted there from the 1950s until the present indicate that the site was inhabited continuously for more than 1,500 years – from the Persian period  in the late 6th century BCE until the end of the Crusader period in the 13th century CE.

Jewish Press Staff

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/hoard-of-1500-year-old-coins-found-in-ancient-garbage-dump/2013/08/07/

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