Rare Coins from the Final Year of the Judean Revolt Found in Jerusalem

March 27 2018

Archaeologists exploring an artifact-rich site just south of the Temple Mount have discovered a collection of bronze coins that were minted by Jews rebelling against Roman rule. Unlike most such coins, these date to the fourth and final year of the rebellion, which corresponds to 69-70 CE on the Gregorian Calendar. In the year 70, the Romans succeeded in crushing the revolt and destroyed the Second Temple. Amanda Borschel-Dan reports:

The recently discovered bronze coins are remnants left by hidden Jewish residents of besieged . . . Jerusalem, who sought refuge in the seven-by-fourteen-meter cave [where the coins were found] in 66-70 CE. . . . They are decorated with Jewish symbols, including the four plant species associated with the holiday of Sukkot—palm, myrtle, citron, and willow—and a chalice that may have been used by priests in the Temple. The coins display a paleo-Hebrew inscription, [that is, one written in the older script that was then used alongside the later Hebrew alphabet], which shifted—arguably reflecting the mood of the rebels—during the revolt from earlier years’ “For the freedom of Zion” to Year Four’s “For the redemption of Zion.” . . .

The coins were found alongside broken pottery vessels, including jars and cooking pots. A Hasmonean-period [3rd and 2nd centuries BCE] layer is found at the base of the cave, and these finds were uncovered directly above. The cave, said [the lead archaeologist Eilat] Mazar, was undisturbed since the Second Temple period, creating a “time capsule” of Jewish life during the revolt. . . .

The bronze-coin find is remarkable in that until today, most of the Jewish Revolt coin finds have dated to its second year, when the Romans made great strides against the Jewish rebels.

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Archaeology, History & Ideas, Jerusalem, Judean Revolt

 

Don’t Let Iran Go Nuclear

Sept. 29 2022

In an interview on Sunday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated that the Biden administration remains committed to nuclear negotiations with the Islamic Republic, even as it pursues its brutal crackdown on the protests that have swept the country. Robert Satloff argues not only that it is foolish to pursue the renewal of the 2015 nuclear deal, but also that the White House’s current approach is failing on its own terms:

[The] nuclear threat is much worse today than it was when President Biden took office. Oddly, Washington hasn’t really done much about it. On the diplomatic front, the administration has sweetened its offer to entice Iran into a new nuclear deal. While it quite rightly held firm on Iran’s demand to remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from an official list of “foreign terrorist organizations,” Washington has given ground on many other items.

On the nuclear side of the agreement, the United States has purportedly agreed to allow Iran to keep, in storage, thousands of advanced centrifuges it has made contrary to the terms of the original deal. . . . And on economic matters, the new deal purportedly gives Iran immediate access to a certain amount of blocked assets, before it even exports most of its massive stockpile of enriched uranium for safekeeping in a third country. . . . Even with these added incentives, Iran is still holding out on an agreement. Indeed, according to the most recent reports, Tehran has actually hardened its position.

Regardless of the exact reason why, the menacing reality is that Iran’s nuclear program is galloping ahead—and the United States is doing very little about it. . . . The result has been a stunning passivity in U.S. policy toward the Iran nuclear issue.

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Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Iran nuclear deal, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy