Israeli archaeologists recently discovered a trove of silver coins dating from the time of the Jewish revolt against Syrian-Greek rule. They were discovered in the town of Modi’in, which was the hometown of the Hasmonean dynasty that led the uprising. Sue Surkes writes:
The sixteen coins from the Hasmonean period (ca. 167-63 BCE) were concealed in a rock crevice up against a wall of a large agricultural estate, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced on Tuesday.
The excavation’s director Abraham Tendler said the shekels and half-shekels were minted in the city of Tyre, now part of Lebanon, and bear the images of the [Seleucid] king, Antiochus VII, and his brother Demetrius II. . . .
The discovery of the silver coins provides, [according to Tendler], “compelling evidence that one of the members of the estate who had saved his income for months needed to leave the house for some unknown reason. He buried his money in the hope of coming back and collecting it, but was apparently unfortunate and never returned. It is exciting to think that the coin hoard was waiting here 2,140 years until we exposed it.” . . .
Numerous bronze coins minted by the Hasmonean kings were also discovered in the excavation in addition to the sixteen silver ones, the authority reported. They bear the names of kings such as Yehoḥanan, Judah, Jonathan, or Mattathias with the title “high priest and head of the Council of the Jews.”
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