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Archaeology in Israel: 2,000-Year old Gold Coin

(March 2016)

Laurie Rimon, a resident of the Northern Israeli Kibbutz Kfar Blum, discovered a rare ancient gold coin in early 2016 while walking with friends in a grassy area in Eastern Galilee. The 2,000-year old gold coin, bearing the face of Roman Emperor Augustus, the heir to Caesar, was discovered simply laying in the grass. Emperor Trajan minted the coin in 107 C.E., as part of a series of coins honoring Roman Emperors who served before him. Only one other such coin has ever been found, and experts from the Israeli Antiquities Authority remarked that the coin is “rare on a global level.”

The coin, much too valuable for everyday use by average citizens and shopkeepers, is hypothesized to have been part of a payment to a Roman soldier. This may confirm Roman army activity in the region in the context of the Bar Kochba revolt. The coin will be housed at the British Museum, with the only other similar coin ever discovered.

Sources:Winer, Stuart. “Hiker finds rare 2,000-year-old gold coin in northern Israel,” Times of Israel, (March 16, 2016);
Lieberman, Oren. “Hiker finds rare gold coin in Israel,” CNN (March 15, 2016)