Friday, December 19, 2008

New Temple Mount Archeological Find

Haaretz reports (it must choke them to do so)

Rare first century half shekel coin found in Temple Mount dirt

A rare half shekel coin, first minted in 66 or 67 C.E., was discovered by 14 year-old Omri Ya'ari as volunteers sifted through mounds of dirt from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The coin is the first one found to originate from the Temple Mount.

For the fourth year, archaeologists and volunteers have been sifting through dirt dug by the Waqf, the Muslim authority in charge of the Temple Mount compound, in an unauthorized project in 1999. The dig caused extensive and irreversible archaeological damage to the ancient layers of the mountain.

...The half shekel coin was first minted during the Great Revolt against the Romans. The face of the coin is decorated with a branch of three pomegranates and ancient Hebrew letters reading "holy Jerusalem." On the flip side, the letters say "half shekel".

...Dr. Gabriel Barkay explained that "the half shekel coin was used to pay the temple taxes... The coins were apparently minted at Temple Mount itself by the Temple authorities."

The half shekel tax is mentioned in the book of Exodus...Dr. Barkay added that "this is the first time a coin minted at the Temple Mount itself has been found, and therein lies its immense importance...

Just in time for Chanukah, the Temple Mount Holiday.

1 comment:

Kae Gregory said...

I can't wait to hear the Arabs explain this. That ought to be good! Perfect addition to latkes and donuts.