Hidden hoard in Israel sheds light on wartime [VIDEO]

A small hoard of silver coins provides an invaluable insight to life on a Jewish farmstead during the most turbulent times of war in ancient Israel. A total of 16 silver coins and an undisclosed number of bronze coins were undisturbed for 2,140 years until being found in April while excavation prepared for the creation of a new neighborhood.

Full video transcript:

Good morning. Welcome to the Monday Morning Brief. I’m Jeff Starck of Coin World.

News from Israel presents the perfect opportunity to discuss a fascinating topic, the discovery and value of hoards.

Hoards neither have to be large nor valuable financially to be interesting and to educate, as one found near the West Bank illustrates.

While building a new neighborhood, archaeologists discovered a small cache of 16 silver shekel and half-shekel coins that were minted in Tyre.

The coins were hidden on land that had been an agricultural estate for several hundred years, from the Maccabean Revolt in 163 B.C., to the first Jewish Revolt in 70 A.D., through the Bar Kohkba War that ended in 136 A.D.

According to the Israel Antiquities Authority, there is compelling evidence that one of the members of the estate who had saved his money for months needed to leave the house for some unknown reason.

He buried the money in hopes of coming back and collecting it, but apparently never returned. 

Archaeologist Avraham Tendler said, "It is exciting to think that the coin hoard was waiting here 2,140 years until we exposed it.”

The coins represent each date from 135 to 126 B.C., meaning they could compose a collection of sorts, since there seemed to be a methodical approach to collecting one or two examples of each year.

An undisclosed number of bronze coins were also found at the site.

Officials haven’t disclosed a value for either batch of coins, but what they’ve learned at the site is fascinating for students of history.

The silver coins were hidden in a crevice on the agricultural estate, where the Jewish residents over decades had to be prepared to fight off Roman invaders.

There is a hidden tunnel inside one of the ritual bath chambers, and hiding places were carved in the bedrock below the foundation of the estate.

Other tunnels connected hidden rooms, the water cistern, and other locations on the estate.

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Coin World, I’m Jeff Starck. Happy collecting!

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