Rare 2,000 year old silver coins discovered in central Israel

Excavation in the Modi'in area finds coins dating back to 126 B.C.E.

June 7, 2016 16:41
1 minute read.

How archeologists uncover ancient coins

How archeologists uncover ancient coins


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


A cache of rare silver coins from the Hasmonean period, more than 2,000 years ago, has been discovered in the Modi'in area, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Tuesday.

The director of the excavation, Avraham Tendler, said "The cache may have belonged to a Jew who hid
his money in the hope of coming back to collect it, but he was unlucky and never did return."

The coins from approximately 126 B.C.E. were discovered in April hidden in a rock crevice in an agricultural estate that was discovered during an excavation being carried out before construction of a new neighborhood began.

Aerial view of the Hasmonean estate house (Credit: IAA)

According to Tendler, evidence from the excavation shows that it was an agricultural estate established by a Jewish family during the Hasmonean period.

"The family members planted olive trees and vineyards on the neighboring hills and grew grain in valleys. An industrial area that includes an olive press and storehouses where the olive oil was kept is currently being uncovered next to the estate," said Tendler.

Evidence, such as ritual baths in the settlement, showed that the laws of ritual purity and impurity were followed by the Jewish inhabitants. 

It is believed that the estates residents took part in the first revolt against the Romans, which started in 66 C.E. After the destruction of the Temple, in 70 CE, the estate continued its operations.

"It seems that local residents did not give up hope of gaining their independence from Rome, and they were well-prepared to fight the enemy during the Bar Kokhba uprising”, said Tendler.

Abraham Tendler, the excavation director, inside a hiding refuge that was connected to a ritual bath during the Bar Kokhba uprising (Credit: IAA)

Findings show large stones used to create a fortifying barrier as well as an underground tunnel system used for hiding. Found in the tunnels were more artifacts dating back to the Bar Kokhba uprising.

The IAA plans to preserve the findings in an archeological park centered in the heart of the new neighborhood.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
March 22, 2019
Olmert to News 13: Never imagined Germany would sell submarines to Egypt