12.19.2008

Temple Tax Found

Coin 1 is rather exciting, but no photo yet:
The first coin, a silver half-shekel, was apparently minted on the Temple Mount itself by Temple authorities in the first year of the Great Revolt against the Romans in 66-67 CE, said Bar-Ilan University Professor Gabriel Barkay, who is leading the sifting operation.
One side of the coin, which was found by a 14-year-old volunteer, shows a branch with three pomegranates, and the inscription "Holy Jerusalem"; the other side bears a chalice from the First Temple and says "Half-Shekel."

Coin 2, illustrated is:
The second coin discovered in the rubble was minted by, and bears a portrait of, the Greek leader Antiochus Epiphanes IV, who ruled from 175-163 BCE. During that time, he looted the Temple of its treasures and erected a statue in the sanctuary.
The Hasmonean rebellion was directed against his actions. The rebellion, the Hasmoneans' liberation of the Temple, and the events surrounding the Hanukka story took place on the Temple Mount.

Rubble yields silver Temple 'tax' half-shekel - Jerusalem Post.

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