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Archaeology breakthrough: an 11-year-old discovers a 'rare' silver coin from the year 68 AD

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ARCHAEOLOGISTS were stunned after an 11-year-old girl and her family discovered a "unique" silver coin dating back nearly 2,000 years.

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) stated that Liel Krutokop and her family hit the jackpot when they participated in the Temple Mount Sifting Project. The volunteer-led archaeological initiative trawls through abandoned material excavated from Jerusalem's hallowed Temple Mount in the Emek Tzurim National Park in East Jerusalem.

 According to the IAA, young Liel and her family were sorting through buckets of debris when the youngster noticed an unusually shaped object among the ruins.

She had no idea at the time that she had discovered an extremely rare coin connected to a terrible struggle that ripped across Roman-occupied Judea about 2,000 years ago.

"We poured the bucket with the mud on the sieve, and when we filtered the stones that were within, I noticed something round," she explained.

"At first, I had no idea what it was, but it stood out from the rest of the stones."

"My father showed it to one of the assistants, who showed it to an archaeologist."

"He examined it and stated that it was a silver coin that needed to be cleaned.

"I was overjoyed. I was fortunate to find it, but I also want to thank my sister for selecting the bucket we sifted in.

"I doubt I would have found the coin if she hadn't chosen this specific bucket."

The silver coin, according to the IAA, was retrieved from the silver reserves maintained at the Second Temple, which stood atop the Temple Mount until it was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.

According to a Facebook post by the group, the coin was most likely produced by one of the Temple Priests who backed the Jews' Great Revolt against their Roman captors between 66 and 73 AD.

The coin is etched with an image of a cup and Hebrew letters that are shorthand for "second year," according to archaeologist Ari Levy, who conducted the excavations for the ISS.

The inscription refers to the revolt's second year, 67 to 68 CE.

The IAA's specialists discovered a reference to the Second Temple's High Priest as well as the phrase "Holy Jerusalem" in ancient Hebrew script on the reverse.

"A currency is a statement of sovereignty," stated Dr. Robert Kool, head of the IAA's Coin Department.

"When you start a rebellion, you employ one of the most visible emblems of independence: you issue currency."

"The wording on the coin expresses the rebels' aspirations plainly."

"The usage of ancient Hebrew script, which was no longer in use at the time, was not by chance."

According to the scholar, the inscriptions reflect the people's desire to return to the days of "David and Solomon and the days of a united Jewish monarchy."

In other words, the currency symbolised Judea's desire for a united and autonomous Jewish monarchy.

"This is a unique find since, out of many thousands of coins unearthed in archaeological excavations to date, only about 30 coins from the period of the Great Revolt are composed of silver," the archaeologist remarked.

The Roman Empire inhabited ancient Israel for around 400 years, beginning around 63 years after the victory of Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, popularly known as Pompey the Great.