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Archaeologists find 120 coins from the Bar Kokhba Revolt era
September 10, 2009, 8:39 am
Filed under: Archeology
Spiritual and physical treasures are found in Israel all the time
120 mint nearly 2000 year old coins is outrageous
Wed Sep 9, 9:32 am ET

JERUSALEM (AFP) – Archaeologists in Israel have found the largest ever cache of rare coins from the time of the last Jewish revolt against the Romans, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem said on Wednesday.

The cache includes 120 gold, silver and bronze coins, as well as some pottery and weapons.

It was found in a cave in the Judaean Hills near Jerusalem that served as a hiding place for the Jewish fighters during the so-called Bar Kokhba revolt (132-136 CE), named after its leader.

“This discovery verifies the assumption that the refugees of the revolt fled to caves in the centre of a populated area in addition to the caves found in more isolated areas of the Judaean Desert,” said Amos Frumkin of the Hebrew University.

Most of the coins are in excellent condition and “were overstruck as rebels’ coins on top of Roman coins” with imprints showing Jewish images and words such as the facade of the Temple in Jerusalem and the slogan “for the freedom of Jerusalem,” the university said in a statement.

Bar-Kokhba coins of this quality and quantity have never before been discovered in one location,

Israeli archaeologists unveiled never before seen historical artifacts from a recent discovery of a Judean Hills cave used by Jewish refugees during the Bar Kokhba rebellion in 132-35 CE. The findings were presented at a press conference

held at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Wednesday morning.

The massive discovery marks the first time Israeli researchers have ever found a large hoard of ancient coins from this era. The gold, silver and bronze coins, 120 in all, were discovered in an undisclosed location within the ‘Green Line’ of Israel. The unlocking of the almost inaccessible cave also yielded iron weapons, storage jars, oil lamps, a juglet, a silver earring and a glass bottle.

The 20-meter deep cave and its bounty are continuing to be explored by Prof. Amos Frumkin and Boaz Langford of the Cave Research Unit in the Department of Geography of the Hebrew University and Dr. Boaz Zissu and Prof. Hanan Eshel of the Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology at Bar-Ilan University. The project is made possible with the support of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.

The artifacts are believed to be solid evidence proving the theory that Jews found refuge in the Judean Hills during the time-period

A majority of the discovered coins were in excellent condition. Jewish fighters pressed their own insignias into the coins. Leaders of the Jewish resistance imprinted and dated coins for each year of the rebellion with, for example, images of the exterior of the Second Temple in Jerusalem and poetry for reclaiming Jerusalem as a means for spreading the rebellion via currency.

The Bar Kokhba Revolt was fought against the Roman Empire and it was last of the Jewish-Roman wars. The revolt, led by Simon bar Kokhba, was meant to put down the Roman occupation of the land of Israel. Bar Kokhba managed to establish a Jewish state over parts of Judea, as Jews were banned from living in Jerusalem or visiting the site of the destroyed Second Temple. For almost two years until the Roman armies put down the resistance, Jewish resistance fighters inflicted heavy casualties upon the Roman army. Staggering estimates of the Jewish death toll exceed 500,000 civilian causalities and almost 1,000 towns destroyed by the Roman army.