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December 12, 2016 8:04 am

Ancient Coin Inscribed With ‘Free Zion’ Found in Jerusalem

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The front and back of the coin unveiled Sunday by Israeli Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev. Photo: Israeli Culture and Sports Ministry.

The front and back of the coin unveiled Sunday by Israeli Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev. Photo: Israeli Culture and Sports Ministry.

JNS.org — Israeli Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev unveiled on Sunday a recently discovered coin inscribed with the words “Free Zion” that dates back to the period of the Jewish revolt against the Romans.

Regev unveiled the find, which was discovered by one of her advisers at Jerusalem’s City of David archaeological landmark, at a cabinet meeting.

The back of the coin reads, “Two years to the Great Revolt,” which dates the artifact to the year 67 CE, three years before the Romans sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the Second Temple.

Regev said that during the Hanukkah holiday later this month, her ministry and the Israel Antiquities Authority will unveil another discovery, an ancient street in Jerusalem that is “the street the Maccabees trod 2,000 years ago.”

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According to Regev, the street in question was a main thoroughfare in ancient Jerusalem, and the shops that lined it have also been excavated. The street is named Olei Haregel (“The Pilgrims”), in honor of the Jews who used it to ascend the Temple Mount from Shiloah Pool.

“I see this project of excavating the Old City, of continued excavations in the Old City, as a national project,” Regev said.

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  • The coin is in the original Hebrew script.

    The image on the right, on the right side of the coin, says ‘Tsiyon’ ציון . The zigzag letter is the letter צ . (It looks like a W flying like a flag on a pole, I . Here the pole is short.) Read counterclockwise.

    Tsiyon is Har Tsiyon, the mountain that the Holy Temple is on, on its summit, with Yrushalayim, the City of David on its southern slope.

    Zionism derives from the preservation of both the Jewish capital city and the Jewish Temple.

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