11-Year-Old Girl Finds Rare Ancient Coin From the Time of the Great Revolt

A rare silver coin (also called a shekel) that was believed to have been minted during the Jewish Revolt against the Romans has been discovered by an 11-year-old girl in Israel. The coin dates back approximately 2,000 years ago during the Second Temple time period. In fact, it is believed that the coin was minted in the Second Temple by one of the Temple Priests who was part of the Great Revolt.

It was during the Israel Antiquities Authority’s excavations that took place in the City of David in Jerusalem that the pure silver coin was found. More specifically, it was located on the “Pilgrimage Road” in the City of David National Park. “This street, which connected the Siloam Pool in the south of the City of David to the Temple Mount in the north, was Jerusalem’s main street during the Second Temple period, where thousands of pilgrims marched on their way to 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,” explained archaeologist Ari Levy who is the Director of the Excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

(Not the coin mentioned in this article.)

As for how it was found, an 11-year-old girl named Liel Krutokop was at the site with her family for an “archaeological experience” in the Emek Tzurim Sifting Project when it was discovered in some dirt that was dug up. “We poured the bucket with the dirt on the strainer, and as we filtered the stones that were inside, I saw something round,” she explained. “At first, I did not know what it was, but it looked different from all the other stones. My father brought it to one of the assistants, and she showed it to an archaeologist. He looked at it and said it was a silver coin that needed to be cleaned. I was very excited.”

The coin weighs approximately 14 grams with one side of it showing a cup and inscriptions that translate to “Israeli shekel” and “second year” which would have been in reference to the second year of the Great Revolt of the Jews against the Romans – 67 to 68 CE. The other side of the coin has an inscription that represented the headquarters of the High Priest along with text that translates to “Holy Jerusalem”.

Dr. Robert Kool, who is the Head of the Coin Department of the Israel Antiquities Authority, described the significance of the finding, “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,” adding, “A currency is a sign of sovereignty. If you go into rebellion, you use one of the most obvious symbols of independence, and you mint coins.”

Pictures of the coin can be viewed here.

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