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10,000 Ancient Coins Found in Israel During Excavation in Negev

A Hebrew University archaeologist reported yesterday that workmen excavating the ruins of a second-century villa in the Negev, near Dimona, found a collection of more than 10,000 Roman coins valued at an estimated $80,000.

Dr. Abraham Negev, head of the expedition, also reported that the 8,000 silver and 2,000 coins of lesser value were struck between 96 and 112 CE, probably in Syria. The coins were found at Kurnub, a ruined Nabatean-Byzantine city. Excavation and restoration of Kurnub was arranged by the National Parks Authority to give work to jobless residents of Dimona.

Dr. Negev said that the coins filled a two-foot-tall bronze jar, found hidden under a curved step at the bottom of a stairwell in a two-story house.