A Hanukkah Surprise For Israeli Archaeologists
During Hanukkah, children, like the ones shown above, often receive gelt in the form of gold foil-covered chocolate coins. But some Israeli archaeologists got some gelt of their own this week when a British volunteer found a hoard of gold coins from the 7th century in Jerusalem on Sunday right around the start of the Hanukkah holiday at sunset. The hoard of 264 ancient gold coins minted during the early 7th Century was found in Jerusalem National Park. It is one of the biggest and most impressive gold coin finds ever discovered in Jerusalem. The coins were in a collapsed building that dates back to the 7th century, the end of the Byzantine period and they bear the face of Heraclius, who was the Byzantine emperor from 610 to 641. On one side, the emperor is wearing military garb and is holding a cross in his right hand. On the other side is the sign of the cross. The excavation of the building is continuing as archaeologists try to find out more about the building and how it was destroyed.