Second Temple Era ruins found near Highway to Jerusalem


Israel Antiquities Authority announced the discovery of ruins and bronze coins stamped with a Hebrew inscription reading “Year Four,” the time of the Great Revolt against the Romans some 2,000 years ago.

By Yori Yalon


The Israel Antiquities Authority on Tuesday announced that the ruins of a Second Temple-era community have been found near Highway 1, Israel’s main Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway.

The coins found on the site were stamped with a Hebrew inscription reading “Redemption of Zion” – Photo: Uri Lenz

The ruins were discovered several months ago during an infrastructure project by the national roads company, Netivei Israel. Work was suspended immediately in favor of archaeological excavations, during which large portions of a town, which the Antiquities Authority believes dates back some 2,000 years, were discovered.

Archaeologists also found 114 bronze coins hidden inside a clay pot found on the site, which date back to the fourth year of the Great Revolt against the Romans, which eventually led to the destruction of the Second Temple. The Great Revolt took place between 66 and 73 C.E., which places the fourth year at 69-70 C.E.

Archaeologists Pablo Betzer and Eyal Marco, who headed the excavation, said in a statement: “The cache, which appears to have been buried several months prior to the fall of Jerusalem, affords a glimpse into the lives of Jews living on the outskirts of Jerusalem at the end of the rebellion. It appears as if someone here feared the end was near and tried to hide his property, perhaps in the hope of going back for it when the peace and quiet was restored to the area.”

The Antiquities Authority said all the coins were stamped with an image of a chalice and a Hebrew inscription reading “Redemption of Zion” on one side, and a motif resembling a lulav bundle between two citrons, with a Hebrew inscription reading “Year Four” on the other side, apparently meaning the fourth year of the Great Revolt.

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