A rare, gold coin in good condition which archaeologists believe dates to 56–57 C.E., bearing the image of the tyrannical Roman emperor Nero, was found by an excavation team from the University of North Carolina during a recent dig on Yerushalayim’s Har Tzion, just outside the Old City, according to The Jerusalem Post.
“The coin is exceptional because this is the first time that a coin of this kind has turned up in Yerushalayim in a scientific dig,” said Dr. Shimon Gibson, who co-directed the excavation with Dr. James Tabor and Dr. Rafael Lewis.
“Coins of this type are usually found only in private collections, where we don’t have clear evidence as to place of origin.”
The gold coin (aureus) bears the portrait of the young Nero as Caesar. The lettering around the edge of the coin reads: “NERO CAESAR AVG IMP.” On the reverse of the coin is a depiction of an oak wreath containing the letters “EX S C,” with the surrounding inscription “PONTIF MAX TR P III.
“Importantly, these inscriptions help to work out the date when the coin was struck as 56/57 [C.E.],” said Gibson, noting that its identification was made by historian and numismatist Dr. David Jacobson in London.