Rare Roman Coin from Second Temple Era Found in Jerusalem

A Roman gold coin depicting the Emperor Nero, dated to 56 CE, found at archaeological excavation at Jerusalem's Mt. Zion. (Photo Credit: Dr. Shimon Gibson)

An ancient coin dating over 1,900 years old from around 57 A.D was discovered in Jerusalem earlier this week. The coin was found on Jerusalem’s Mt. Zion in an area that was once a neighborhood for wealthy Jews.

The coin features the Roman Emperor Nero who ruled Jerusalem ahead of its destruction, from the years 54 to 68 A.D., the words “NERO CAESAR AVG IMP” written on the gold coin.

The discovery is rarity in that it was the first time such a rare coin was found in Jerusalem. According to one of the archeologists from the excavation at Mt. Zion, Shimon Gibson, these type of coins are “usually found in private collections.” He explained “It is a valuable piece of personal property and wouldn’t have been cast away like rubbish or casually dropped… It’s conceivable that it ended up outside these structures in the chaos that happened as this area was destroyed,” referring to the destruction of the Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 A.D.

The discovery comes just days following the unearthing of a scale weight that belonged to a high priest from the Second Temple period, 70 A.D. during an excavation in Jerusalem’s Old City at the Tiferet Israel Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem. The scale weight was found a meter under the floor of the synagogue, under a burned layer of ground likely from the destruction of the Second Temple. Two lines in Aramaic give details, which are still being studied, with initial findings confirming the name of a high priest from that era.

This article originally appeared on Behold Israel, September 18, 2016, and reposted with permission.