An 11-year-old girl in Jerusalem discovered a silver shekel coin believed to have been minted by a priest on the Temple Mount 2,000 years ago, according to archeologists.
Liel Krutokop discovered the coin while sifting through dirt as part of a family-friendly “archaeological experience” organized by the City of David and the Emek Tzurim National Park in Jerusalem.
“We poured the dirt-filled bucket into the strainer, and as we filtered the stones inside, I noticed something round,” Krutokop explained. “I had no idea what it was at first, but it stood out among the other stones… I was extremely ecstatic.”
The engraving “Second Year” appeared on the coin, which was discovered on the ancient “Pilgrimage Road” in the City of David. It was most likely used in the second year of the Jews’ Great Revolt against the Roman Empire, which took place between 67 and 68 AD.
According to CBN News, the other side of the coin was inscribed in ancient Hebrew with the words “Holy Jerusalem.” The phrase appeared next to an inscription indicating the High Priest’s headquarters.
The coin was most likely made from high-quality silver found in the Second Temple reserves, according toDr. Ro bert Kool, Head of the Israel Antiquities Authority’s Coin Department.
“If that’s the case, we can safely say that this coin is one of the few items we have today that came from the Temple [Mount] itself,” Kool said.
“This is a rare find,” he continued, “because only about 30 coins made of silver from the period of the Great Revolt have been discovered to date in archeological excavations out of many thousands of coins discovered to date in archeological excavations.”
Kool also speculated that the ancient coin was minted by a priest sympathetic to the Jewish insurgents.
He explained that “a currency is a symbol of sovereignty.” “You use one of the most obvious symbols of independence, and you mint coins, if you go into rebellion.” The aspirations of the rebels are clearly expressed in the inscription on the coin.”
Despite the fact that the Hebrew inscription was no longer in use at the time, he added that it was not “accidental.”
“The use of this script came to express the people’s longing for the days of David and Solomon, and the days of a united Jewish kingdom – days when the people of Israel had full independence in the land,” he said.
Experts believe the coin was used for trade in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago, before the Romans destroyed the Temple.
“During the Second Temple period, thousands of pilgrims marched on their way to the Temple on this street, which connected the Siloam Pool in the south of the City of David to the Temple Mount in the north,” said archaeologist Ari Levy, Director of the Excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
He went on to say, “There is no doubt that there would have been extensive trading here.” “The numerous weights and bronze coins discovered here attest to this. Finding a rebel coin made of pure silver, on the other hand, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
The coin has been chemically cleaned and will be displayed in Emek Tzurim National Park for the Hannukah holiday.