This article on an unusual ancient gold coin find in Israel was referenced in today's issue of the Explorator newsletter. To subscribe, send a blank email message to: Exploratorfirstname.lastname@example.org
A 2,000-year-old gold coin discovered by a West Virginia University student at an archaeological site in the upper Galilee has proven to be the find of the season.
It is the first Antonius Pius coin ever found in Israel and was discovered by Alexis Whitley and her friend, on one of the hottest days of the summer. The two were clearing away dirt and rocks at the Bethsaida site when suddenly, Alex spotted the sparkle of a coin as it slipped down.
The coin, which Arav described as a discovery of Biblical dimensions, weighs 7 grams of 24-karat gold – 97.6 percent gold, to be exact. It depicts the portrait of Antonius Pius, a Roman emperor who ruled from 138-161 CE.
Arav, a professor at the University of Nebraska, said the coin was issued to celebrate Pius' designation of consul for a second time, which according to historical records took place in the summer of 138 CE. He noted that Pius' ascension to consul should have been indicated with an announcement on the flip side of the coin – but instead, the coin shows a portrait of the goddess Pietas – which the chief archaeologist said may have been a rare and valuable misprint. “Somebody in the Roman Imperial mint goofed. It is like having a rare and mistaken silver dollar,” Arav explained.
To read the complete article, see:
2,000-Year-Old Gold Coin a Testament to Galilee Ancient History
Wayne Homren, Editor
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