The July 12, 2012 issue of CoinsWeekly has the second part of Ursula Kampmann's article on Numismatics in Jerusalem. Here's a short excerpt, but be sure to read the complete version online - it has quite a lot of great pictures.
To be honest, I would not have noticed that each one, the Bank of Israel and the Israel Antiquities Authority, possesses a coin collection of its own, if Haim Gitler had not told me so. Shame on me!, because these two places keep really important treasures. The Israel Antiquities Authority is specialized on excavated coins, while the exhibition of the Bank of Israel is a must-do to everybody who is interested in Israel’s modern coinage and banknotes.
The history of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) dates back to 1924 when the British founded the British Mandate Antiquities ordinances. After the United Nations General Assembly had decided to realize the division of Palestine into an Arabic and a Jewish state, the British army withdrew on May 14, 1948. In the very night of the foundation of Israel the young state was declared war by Egypt, Saudi-Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria. This war should continue until far into 1949.
One might think that in these troublesome months the Jewish government had a pile of things to do. However, history and particularly archaeology are of much bigger importance to Israel than to most other countries in the world. Because they touch the aspect of identity and the archaeological reasoning that Israel is the Promised Land of the Jews.
Still during the siege of Jerusalem the Israel Department of Antiquities was founded on July 26, 1948. Its task is to protect the country’s past by excavations and interpretation, but also acting as Cultural Heritage Protection.
In this safe some 800,000 coins are stored. Every year nearly 8,000 coins are added and identified, described and published. A total of three persons are concerned with the excavated coins.
Here they store not only the coins but also the vessels in which the coins had been buried.
To read the complete article, see:
Numismatics in Jerusalem – Part 2
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
URSULA KAMPMANN'S NUMISMATIC VISIT TO JERUSALEM
Wayne Homren, Editor
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