Eleven-year-old Liel Krutokop from Israel was enjoying a family-friendly ‘archeological experience’ when she came across a silver shekel coin showing signs that it underwent minting by a priest. Archeologists reckoned that the possibly-minted currency was at least 2,000 years old and was originally from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Liel was one of the participants sifting through the soil at the Emek Tzurim National Park in Jerusalem.
In a statement, the 11-year old recounted how she found the Israel shekel saying how excited she was. “We poured the bucket with the dirt on the strainer, and as we filtered the stones that were inside, I saw something round. At first, I did not know what it was, but it looked different from all the other stones,” she narrated.
The coin bears the engraving ‘Second Year,’ a reference to a historical event, the second year of the Great Revolt of the Jews against the Romans. This period roughly happened between 67-68 AD. The other side of the coin has another inscription indicating the headquarters of the High Priest and another inscription ‘Holy Jerusalem,’ in Hebrew characters.
The coin’s inscriptions and high-quality silver material set it apart from other coins. Dr. Robert Kool, Head of the Coin Department of the Israel Antiquities Authority, even theorized that the coin has historical significance as a rare find that directly comes from the Temple.
“This is a rare find, since out of many thousands of coins discovered to date in archeological excavations, only about 30 coins are coins made of silver, from the period of the Great Revolt,” he said.
Kool further drew in more stories surrounding the coin. The ancient artifact may have been living evidence of the ancient Israelis’ longing for independence that they had lost during David and Solomon’s time. The expert further theorized that a sympathetic priest may have minted the coin as a sign of his support for the Jewish rebels.
Further, experts theorized that the coin pre-dated when Romans entered Jerusalem and destroyed the temple. Its location is key to its age. Liel found it from the archeological excavations ancient site, the ‘Pilgrimage Road’ in the City of David where Jesus and other Jewish pilgrims may have passed to arrive at the temple.
” There is no doubt that there would have been extensive trading here. This is evidenced by the many weights and bronze coins we have found here. But to find a rebel coin made of pure silver is definitely very special and exciting,” archaeologist Ari Levy, Director of the Excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, said.
The coin is a new addition to the unique, ancient displays that one can see during the Hannukah at Emek Tzurim National Park. Authorities are currently treating it before the public show.