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March 19, 2017 5:08 pm

1,400-Year-Old Coins Discovered Near Christian Pilgrimage Site in Jerusalem

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A cache of 1,400-year-old coins discovered in excavations near Jerusalem. Photo: Yoli Shwartz, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

JNS.org – The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced Sunday the discovery of 1,400-year-old coins in excavations near Jerusalem.

According to the IAA, the cache of nine bronze coins were found in a large complex that served Christian pilgrims en route to Jerusalem, and provide “evidence of the Persian invasion at the end of the Byzantine period,” as the coins feature the images of three Byzantine emperors (Justinian 483-565 CE, Maurice 539-602 CE and Phocas 547-610 CE).

The excavation that led to the finding occurred in June 2016 during the expansion of the Jerusalem to Tel Aviv Highway 1. A massive two-story structure and an elaborate wine press were also revealed in the process, and the coins were found among large stones that had collapsed alongside the building.

“It seems that during a time of danger, the owner of the hoard placed the coins in a cloth purse that he concealed inside a hidden niche in the wall,” said Annette Landes-Nagar, director of the excavation on behalf of the IAA. “He probably hoped to go back and collect it, but today we know that he was unable to do so.”

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