Rare Coin from Bar Kokhba Revolt Discovered in Jerusalem

From circa 133 CE, the coin is inscribed with the word "Jerusalem"

The Israel Antiquities Authority has announced  the discovery of a coin from the Bar Kokhba Revolt against Roman occupation of Jerusalem. On one side is a picture of a date palm and the inscription, “Jerusalem.” It features a cluster of grapes on the other side, with the inscription, “Year Two of the Freedom of Israel.”

Bar Kokhba Jerusalem Coin

Copyright: Koby Harati, City of David Archive

The IAA’s Head of the Coin Department, Dr. Donald Tzvi Ariel, studied coins from the Old City in Jerusalem. Though they are relatively common in middle eastern archaeology, of the 22,000 excavated from Ancient Jerusalem, only four were from the period of the Bar Kohkba revolt. The revolt, led by Simon Bar Koseva, united the Judeans against the Romans, who were building a temple to their god, Jupiter, on the Temple Mount. The Romans were sorely tested, only winning the war by bringing in reinforcements from elsewhere in the Roman Empire.

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Unlike the first Jewish revolt against Rome, from 66-73 C.E., where revolt coins were possibly minted from inside the Temple Mount itself , in the five years of the Bar Kohkba revolt from 132-137 C.E., the revolutionaries were unable to break into Jerusalem. The IAA speculates the four coins came to reside in the Old City as battlefield souvenirs brought back by victorious Roman legionnaires.

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Roman Cult, Jewish Rebels Share Jerusalem Cave Site BAR-KOKHBA COINS. Three hoards of coins were uncovered from the Te’omim Cave. Inside a crack in the rock of Hall F was a hoard (Hoard A) of 83 silver coins (20 tetradrachms and 63 denarii) from the Bar-Kokhba Revolt. All these Roman coins had been restruck by the Bar-Kokhba…

The Judean wilderness as the last bastion of Jewish revolts
Most modern accounts of the Second Jewish Revolt report that it ended with the Roman capture of Bethar. But I believe that this battle, too, continued in the Judean wilderness. Most of the supporting evidence for this comes from archaeology.

Village Razed, Rebel Beheaded The second–third-century Roman historian Cassius Dio claimed that the Romans destroyed 985 Jewish villages while suppressing the so-called Bar-Kokhba Revolt, the Second Jewish Revolt. I believe we have excavated one of those villages at a site now known as Horvat ‘Ethri, just 15 miles southwest of the rebel capital at Bethar.

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