Last Sunday was the fast of Tisha b’Av, which commemorates the destruction of the First and Second Temples—the latter of which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE following a Jewish uprising. This Saturday is the minor holiday of Tu b’Av, which celebrates rebuilding and recovery after a second revolt, led by Simon Bar Kokhba, from 132 to 136 CE. Recently, archaeologist found coins from both uprisings, reports the Times of Israel:
The first coin was discovered on the ground at the Khirbat Jib’it archaeological site, just south of the West Bank town of Duma. It dates back to the Great Revolt, the first Jewish–Roman War in Judea, according to researchers from Bar-Ilan University.
The Khirbat Jib’it coin was minted around 67-68 CE. . . . On one side it bears a vine leaf and the Hebrew inscription ḥerut Tsiyon (the freedom of Zion). The other side is decorated with an amphora and the inscription “Year Two.”
Just one kilometer north, a second coin was found in a cave on the Wadi Rashash cliffs, . . . minted around 134 or 135 CE; it bears a palm branch, possibly a lulav—one of the ritual plants used during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot—and a wreath surrounded by the inscription l’ḥerut Y’rushalayim (for the freedom of Jerusalem).
The other side of the Wadi Rashash coin is decorated with a musical instrument, likely a lyre, . . . as well as the inscription “Shimon,” the name of the rebel leader, Shimon Ben Kos’vah, better known as Bar Kokhba.