Second Temple dwellings, bronze coins found near Jerusalem

Archeologists have discovered the remains of an unknown Second Temple Era community during the excavations for expanding the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway. Found in a clay bowl in one of the houses was a rare hoard of 114 bronze coins stamped with the date of the fourth year of the Great Revolt led by Bar Cochba against Roman occupation – 69/70 CE – which ended in the Temple’s destruction on the Ninth Day of Av 2000 years ago. The heads of the dig, Pablo Betzer and Eyal Marco, report that the hoard was apparently cached months before the destruction in the hope of recovering it when the danger abated. Each coin is stamped with a chalice and the words “Geulat Zion” – the Redemption of Zion. The find affords a rare glimpse of Jewish life in Jerusalem’s outlying communities in the last days of the Second Temple Era.

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