Golden Treasure Trove Found Near Har HaBayis

YERUSHALAYIM -
Jewelry and a gold medallion with a menorah etched into it is shown during a press conference in Yerushalayim on Monday. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
Jewelry and a gold medallion with a menorah etched into it is shown during a press conference in Yerushalayim on Monday. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

Archaeologists have announced the discovery of a trove of ancient coins and medallions near Har HaBayis.

The collection includes a gold medallion with a seven-branched menorah etched into it, along with other items showing a sefer Torah and a shofar.

Archaeologist Eilat Mazar of Hebrew University said Monday that the objects are thought to be from the seventh century. She said the treasure was discovered in a ruined Byzantine public structure only 50 yards from the southern wall of Har HaBayis.

Given the ostensible age of the items and the manner in which they were found, Mazar believes they were abandoned during the Persian conquest of Yerushalayim in the year 614.

This is only the third collection of gold coins to be found in archaeological excavations in the city, said Lior Sandberg, numismatics specialist at the Institute of Archaeology. “The 36 gold coins can be dated to the reigns of different Byzantine emperors, ranging from the middle of the fourth century to the early seventh century,” said Sandberg.

Ancient coins are shown during a press conference in Yerushalayim on Monday. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
Ancient coins are shown during a press conference in Yerushalayim on Monday. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)