Bronze Coin Dating to Maccabean Revolt Unearthed in Jerusalem

Israeli archaeologists found a coin dating to the period in which the Chanukah epic occurred.  

A bronze coin that was in circulation during the time of King Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the Greek monarch who decreed that the Jews must abandon their religion and during whose reign the Maccabean revolt occurred, has been discovered at the Tower of David archaeological site in Jerusalem.

The discovery, made during routine maintenance work, was a surprise to archaeologists working at the Tower of David citadel.

They believed that they had thoroughly excavated the site during the last few decades. Nevertheless, chief conservator Orna Cohen noticed a metal object among the stones of the Hasmonean Wall inside the citadel.

A careful examination revealed that it was a bronze Prutah, a coin that was used more than 2,000 years ago.

The front of the coin features Antiochus wearing a crown. The other side shows the image of a goddess wrapped in a scarf.

Officials from the Tower of David noted that while there is no date on the coin, “we know that these coins were minted in Acre, which in that time was called Ptolemais, apparently between 172 and 168 BCE.”

Antiochus’s death sentence on the Jewish people sparked the Maccabean revolt, in which a small minority defeated much greater forces, leading to the re-sanctification the Holy Temple and the miracle of the oil that lasted eight days, an event commemorated by this month’s Chanukah holiday.

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Eilat Lieber, director and chief curator of the Tower of David Museum, said the coin “offers additional evidence that backs up historical accounts and upholds what took place here.”

Other archaeological evidence of the epic battle for Jerusalem, which include catapult projectiles and iron speerheads, were found around the site.

By: and World Israel News Staff