First Ever Ancient Gold Coin to Be Found in Jerusalem Bears Image of Emperor Nero


The discovery of an uncommon gold coin bearing the picture of the Roman Emperor Nero on the College of North Carolina at Charlotte’s archaeological excavations on Mount Zion in Jerusalem has simply been introduced by the archaeologists accountable for the venture, Drs. Shimon Gibson, James Tabor, and Rafael Lewis.

“The coin is outstanding,” stated Gibson, “as a result of that is the primary time that a coin of this type has turned up in Jerusalem in a scientific dig. Coins of this kind are often solely present in personal collections, where we do not have clear proof as to place of origin.”

The gold coin (aureus) bears the bare-headed portrait of the younger Nero as Caesar. The lettering across the fringe of the coin reads NERO CAESAR AVG IMP. On the reverse of the coin is an outline of an oak wreath containing the letters “EX S C,” with the encompassing inscription “PONTIF MAX TR P III.” Importantly, these inscriptions assist in working out the date when the coin was struck as 56/57 AD. Identification of the coin was made by the historian and numismatist, Dr. David Jacobson from London.

The coin dates to a bit of greater than a decade earlier than the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD and was present in rubble materials outdoors the ruins of the first Century Jewish villas the crew has been excavating. The group has hypothesized that the massive homes could have belonged to rich members of the priestly caste, and it could have come from certainly one of their shops of wealth.

Israel - Jerusalem - Mount Zion.

Israel – Jerusalem – Mount Zion. ( CC BY 2.0 )

“The coin most likely got here from one of many wealthy 2000-12 months previous Jewish dwellings which the UNC Charlotte workforce have been uncovering on the web site,” stated Gibson. “These belonged to the priestly and aristocratic quarter situated within the Higher Metropolis of Jerusalem. Finds embrace the properly-preserved rooms of a really giant mansion, a Jewish ritual pool (mikveh) and a rest room, each with their ceilings intact.”

This mansion and different prefer it, had been completely destroyed by Titus and the Roman legions, when Jerusalem was razed to the bottom. It’s possible, owing to the intrinsic worth of the gold coin, it was hidden away forward of the destruction of the town, and was missed by the marauding and looting Roman troopers.

“It is a precious piece of private property and would not have been forged away like garbage or casually dropped. It is conceivable that it ended up outdoors these buildings within the chaos that occurred as this space was destroyed.”

The picture of Nero is critical in that it reveals the presence of the Roman occupation and supplies a transparent late date for the occupation of the residences. There isn’t any historic proof that Nero ever visited Jerusalem. Tabor identified that the coin is dated “to the identical yr of St. Paul’s final go to Jerusalem, which resulted in his arrest (on the cost of taking Gentiles into the Temple) and incarceration in Caesarea.” Final of the Julio-Claudian line, Nero was Roman emperor for fourteen years (54-68 AD). He had the reputation for being a tyrant, and a few believed he was chargeable for the devastating fireplace of 64 AD, which resulted in the burning of a lot of Rome.

A plaster bust of Nero, Pushkin Museum, Moscow.

A plaster bust of Nero, Pushkin Museum, Moscow. ( CC BY-SA 3.0 )

The archaeological venture has delivered to mild many different vital finds in the course of the 2016 summer time season, and work on the website will likely be resumed subsequent yr.

High picture: A Roman gold coin depicting Emperor Nero, dated to 56 CE was found in the summer time, 2016 at UNC Charlotte’s archaeological excavation at Jerusalem’s Mt. Zion. Credit score: Shimon Gibson

The article ‘ Rare Roman gold coin found in Jerusalem at Mt. Zion archaeological dig ’ was initially revealed on Science Daily .

Supply: College of North Carolina at Charlotte. “Uncommon Roman gold coin present in Jerusalem at Mt. Zion archaeological dig.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, thirteen September 2016.


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