JERUSALEM (JTA) — The largest ever cache of coins from the period of the Bar Kochba revolt was found in a cave in the Judean Hills.
The 120 gold, silver and bronze coins, as well as some pottery and weapons, were discovered during a cave research and mapping project by Hebrew University and Bar Ilan University researchers, it was announced Wednesday.
The coins were found in a cave with a hidden wing that likely served as a hiding place for the Jewish fighters of the Bar Kochba revolt against the Romans.
Most of the coins are in excellent condition and were struck over as rebels’ coins on top of Roman coins. The new imprints show Jewish images and words, such as the facade of the Temple in Jerusalem and the slogan “for the freedom of Jerusalem.” Some of the coins are original Roman coins of the period.
Bar Kochba coins of this quality and quantity have never been discovered in one location by researchers in the land of Israel, although antiquities looters over the years have found and sold large numbers of coins from this period, according to a news release from Hebrew University.