July 26, 2012 – In the course of an archaeological excavation in southern Israel nearby Qiryat Gat a treasure hoard was found some weeks ago. In a building dated to the Roman and Byzantine period the excavators detected a pit which was filled up with around 140 gold and silver coins and sumptuous gold jewellery. The presence of the jewellery induces to think of a wealthy lady who hid this spectacular treasure.
According to Sa’ar Ganor, District Archaeologist of Ashkelon and the Western Negev for the IAA, ‘the composition of the numismatic artifacts and their quality are consistent with treasure troves that were previously attributed to the time of the Bar Kokhba Revolt. During the uprising, between 132-135 CE, the Jews under Roman rule would re-strike coins of the emperor Trajan with symbols of the revolt.’
‘This hoard includes silver and gold coins of different denominations, most of which date to the reign of the emperor Trajan. This is probably an emergency cache that was concealed at the time of impending danger by a wealthy woman who wrapped her jewelry and money in a cloth and hid them deep in the ground prior to or during the Bar Kokhba Revolt. It is now clear that the owner of the hoard never returned to claim it.’
The treasure has been transferred to the Artifacts Treatment Department of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) in Jerusalem.
The IAA reports on the finding presenting some pictures, too.
There is no need to speak about the possibilities of understanding history by coins like these found, but by jewellery? David Hendin shows how it works by a ring form Palestine dating to the period of the First Jewish War in his article ‘Pilgrim’s Ring and Coin of the Jewish War’.
And if you are interested in Coins from Judaea, take a look at our archive section on that subject.