Israel: Archaeologists discover large hoard of gold coins
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The “rare hoard” of ancient treasures was found in the Judean Desert, which lies east of Jerusalem. The stretch of arid land covers parts of Israel and the West Bank and encompasses the biblical cities of Bethlehem, Jericho and Hebron. Recent archaeological surveys in the desert have led to the discovery of coins left behind by Jewish rebels nearly 2,000 years ago.
Between 132 and 136 AD, Jews under the leadership of Simon bar Kokhba took up arms against their Roman oppressors.
Towards the end of the conflict, many of the rebels fled into the Judean Desert where they sought shelters in regions numerous caves and hills.
According to the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), the rebels were hoping to return one day to recover their abandoned wealth.
However, the IAA noted in a recent Facebook post “it seems that they weren’t that fortunate”.
The IAA said: “Now, after 2,000 years of exile, Israeli archaeologists arrive and excitedly reveal this ancient greeting from their ancestors.
“If you take a close look you’ll be able to see Jewish symbols on the coins, some of which were chosen to appear on our modern notes and coins.
“Can you see the harp, the vine and the palm tree on the coins?”
The Bar Kokhba revolt broke out in the Roman province of Judea in the first half of the second century AD.
The uprising was the third and last of three Jewish-Roman wars that began in 66 AD.
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The conflict is sometimes known today as the Third Jewish-Roman War of the Third Jewish Revolt.
According to the World History Encyclopedia, the Bar Kokhba revolt was different from the other two conflicts in that it presented a more unified Jewish front.
The Jews were led in the conflict by the military leader Simon Bar Kokhba, who some even considered to be the Jewish Messiah.
Although the initial stages of the war saw some success for the rebels, the might of the Roman Empire eventually shattered all resistance.
As a consequence of the conflict, thousands of Jews were killed, enslaved or driven out of Judea.
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The Jewish people would not regain their state until 1948 and the controversial establishment of the State of Israel.
The IAA celebrated the anniversary of Israel declaring its independence 73 years ago in a Facebook post.
Israel celebrated its Independence Day on April 14 to 15 this year.
The group said: “Happy Independence Day Israel! We, at the Israel Antiquities Authority, are celebrating 73 years of independence of the State of Israel out of deep appreciation for our heritage.”
The Jewish-Roman wars brought a great deal of death and destruction to the nation.
The first conflict culminated in the destruction of Jerusalem’s Second Temple – the holiest site in the Hebrew religion.
Only fragments of the site remain today, including the retaining walls of the Temple Mount.
One segment of the wall in the southwest is known today as the Western Wall or the Wailing Wall.
The Temple Mount, meanwhile, is an Islamic compound holding the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque – some of the holiest sites in the Islamic world after Mecca and Medina
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