2000-year-old gold treasure dug up in Kiryat Gat

Spectacular Bar Kochva-era gold and silver coins discovered in pristine condition.

Israeli archaeologists say they’ve found a trove of gold and silver coins that date back to the Bar Kochva Revolt some 2,000 years ago.

The treasure discovered near Kiryat Gat is believed to have been stashed there by a wealthy woman.

The hoard: photograph – Sharon Gal, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The hoard: photograph – Sharon Gal, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The earring: photograph – Clara Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The earring: photograph – Clara Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

“This is probably an emergency cache that was concealed at the time of impending danger by a wealthy woman who wrapped her jewelry and money in a cloth and hid them deep in the ground prior to or during the Bar Kokhba Revolt,” said archaeologist Sa’ar Ganor of the Israel Antiquities Authority. “It is now clear that the owner of the hoard never returned to claim it.”

The trove included 140 gold and silver coins as well as gold jewelry. Scientists said the coins date to the reigns of emperors Nero, Nerva and Trajan, who ruled the Roman Empire from about A.D. 54 to 117.

The findings were dug up at an excavation site near Kiryat Gat, in the rooms of a building dating to the Roman and Byzantine period. Archaeologists are now studying the treasure at the laboratories of the Artifacts Treatment Department of the Israel Antiquities Authority in Jerusalem.

“The composition of the numismatic artifacts and their quality are consistent with treasure troves that were previously attributed to the time of the Bar Kochva Revolt,” said Ganor.

The ring: photograph – Clara Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The ring: photograph – Clara Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

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About Viva Sarah Press

Viva Sarah Press is an associate editor and writer at ISRAEL21c. She has extensive experience in reporting/editing in the print, online and broadcast fields. She has jumped out of a plane, ducked rockets and been attacked by a baboon all in the name of a good story. Her work has been published by international media outlets including Israel Television, CNN, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post and Time Out.
  • Virtuous2012

    Fantastic mosaic floor! How will it be possible to remove it intact? Or does it have to be sawn apart and reassembled in the museum where it will rest?