(ORDO NEWS) — A box with unusual contents was found in one of the caves located in the Judean desert. It contained coins from the time of Antiochus IV. This Greek king banned many Jewish rites when he was the ruler of those lands. Experts tend to believe that in this way the owner of cash savings wanted to hide his savings before going to war.
Silver coins are approximately 2200 years old. This discovery became the official proof that the Maccabean rebellion really took place. It is described in the First and Second books of Maccabees, included in the Greek Old Testament.
This Bible is also called the Septuagint and is used by the Roman Catholic Church. The uprising took place in the period from 164 to 141 BC. Then the rebel soldiers opposed the decrees suppressing the religious rites of the people.
The man never returned from the war, and no one knew about the treasure. In those years, many Jews hid their wealth in caves. This is mentioned in the First Book of Maccabees. Also, people hid in the desert to escape beastly laws.
Today, the value of silver coins is estimated at 30,000 shekels. They were found in a cave with the interesting name Murabbaat. It is located on the territory of the Darageh Stream reserve. It is near the Dead Sea.
The very box in which they were stored was lined with pieces of sheep’s wool. From above, the treasure was covered with a patch of purple woolen fabric. The box itself is sprinkled with earth and small stones, as well as a layer of thousand-year-old dust.
Silver coins are tetradrachms, each valued at 4 drachmas. They were minted by order of Ptolemy VI Philometra. The ancient Greek sovereign ruled these lands, while his uncle Anthony Epiphanes IV (nicknamed “the wicked one”) was the emperor of the Seleucids. Then Judea was part of this empire. Researchers tend to think that the coins were minted in 175-176 BC.
Archaeologist Ezra Klein and numismatist Gabriella Biyovska studied the treasure. They work in the Israel Antiquities Authority. They said that these silver coins will be put on public display on Hanukkah, which will be held from December 18 to 26, 2022.
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