2,000 year-old coin from Maccabean Revolt discovered in Jerusalem

The visage of Antiochus on the observe of a bronze coin found at the Tower of David Citadel courtyard (Photo courtesy: Tower of David)

A 2,000-year old bronze coin dating back to the time of the Maccabean revolt was discovered in Jerusalem. The find comes just ahead of the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah which will begin this coming Saturday through next Sunday.

The coin was discovered during an archeological dig at the Tower of David in Jerusalem. The coin depicts the Greek King Antiochus IV Epiphanes who decreed the annihilation of the Jewish people.

Archeologists reported that coins from this era were minted in Acre (Ptolemais) between 172 and 168 BC.

The Maccabean Revolt took place between 167 and 160 BC, a Jewish rebellion to the Seleucid Empire led by Judah Maccabee. The story of the Revolt is remembered and celebrated by the Jewish people during the “Festival of Lights”- Hanukkah.

Last week there was a discovery of a 1,950-year old coin that was found in the City of David in Jerusalem, the coin also dating back to a Jewish revolt- that of the revolts against the Romans. The discovery was made on the “Pilgrim’s Road”- a road that was used historically by Jews to make ritual sacrifices in the Temple.

The front and back of the coin inscribed with the words “Free Zion” that dates back to the period of the Jewish revolt against the Romans. (Photo: Israeli Culture and Sports Ministry)
The front and back of the coin inscribed with the words “Free Zion” that dates back to the period of the Jewish revolt against the Romans. (Photo: Israeli Culture and Sports Ministry)

The coin depicts a grape leaf on one-side with the words “Free Zion” with the opposite side’s inscription reading “Two years to the Great Revolt”. The coin dates back to 67 A.D. about three years before the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans.

Both coins discovery come just as Jerusalem is set to unveil the grand reopening of “Pilgrims’ Road” during this year’s Hanukah celebrations. Israel’s Ministry of Culture in coordination with the Israel Antiquities Authority will celebrate 50 years since the liberation of Jerusalem from Jordan, as well as ancient Jewish history on the historic which will be open again the Jewish people.

This article originally appeared on Behold Israel, December 19, 2016, and reposted with permission.