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Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Spectacular Discovery Of A Mysterious Treasure Byzantine Jerusalem

The researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem announced Monday the discovery in archaeological excavations carried out in this city of a rare treasure of gold and silver artifacts and coins from the Byzantine era, the most impressive of which is a solid gold medallion 10 inches adorned with a menorah and other Jewish iconography.

The treasure was found in a Byzantine house in the area adjacent to the southern wall of the Temple Mount and dates from the early seventh century AD, most probably, during the brief Persian conquest of Jerusalem.

The discoverers speculate that the medallion decorated with the menorah would have been used as decoration for a Torah scroll. He himself had been hidden under the floor of the house along with 36 gold coins minted by several late Roman and Byzantine emperors from Constantine II and Mauritius. The treasure also includes some gold bracelets, earrings, silver bullion and gold hexagonal prism. What is surprising is that the coins found covered, despite their small number, a period of over 250 years. I think the only explanation for this phenomenon is that it was the savings accumulated by the same family through the several generations.

The coins have always been an interesting subject for the coin collectors and they are always in search to find the antique coins like old Indian head penny because they add in the treasure of their own with more collectible coins.

The finding puts the treasure medallion clearly in a Jewish context, so that the discoverers speculate that the same stuff belongs to the period after the Persian conquest of it in 614 AD, in which the conquistadors gave to community the control over Jews who had collaborated with taking it. Subsequently, with the weakening of the Persian power, the Jews were expelled from the city. It is likely that the wealthy members of the community hid their wealth before leaving and never had a chance to recover.

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