Israel: excavation discovers early Byzantine coin depicting the Golgotha

A gold coin minted in 638 or 639, depicting Emperor Heraclius and the hill of Golgotha was found in Ramat Ha-Sharon, North of Tel Aviv, the Israel Antiquities Authority reports.

Photo: Amir Gorzalczany – Israel Antiquities Authority Facebook

Newsroom (26/08/2021 10:13 AM, Gaudium Press) – The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) reports that on August 18, during an excavation to establish a new residential neighbourhood, evidence of human activity dating back 1,500 years. The discovery took place in the Ramat Ha-Sharon area north of Tel Aviv.

“The excavation revealed evidence of agricultural-industrial activity at the site during the Byzantine period – about 1,500 years ago,” Yoav Arbel, director of the excavation, announced in a statement released by the IAA.

Among the discoveries there were a large wine press paved with mosaic tile, plastered facilities and foundations of a large structure, possibly a warehouse or farm.

“Inside the buildings and facilities, we found many fragments of storage jars and pots that were evidently used by workers who worked in the fields here,” Arbel said.

Furthermore, the specialists also discovered a bronze chain used to suspend chandeliers that were common in churches at the period.

One of the rare and surprising findings was a rare gold coin. Minted in 638 or 639 by the Byzantine emperor Heraclius, the coin depicts the emperor himself with his two sons on one side and, on the other side, a cross on Golgotha hill, the site of Jesus’ crucifixion along inscriptions engraved on it in Greek and possibly in Arabic.

Arbel pointed out that the gold coin proves the influence of Christianity in that region.

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Compiled by Gustavo Kralj

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