Hebrew University of Jerusalem archaeologist Eilat Mazar has made a “breakthtaking, once in a lifetime discovery” of ancient treasure, including 36 gold coins, gold and silver jewellery, and a gold medallion at the foot of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.
The discovery was made in the first week of Dr. Mazar’s latest dig, part of the Ophel excavations.
The gold and silver date back to the Byzantine period, during the early 7th century A.D, and Mazar suspects the treasure was hidden by wealthy Jews during the Persian conquest of Jerusalem in 614 A.D.
The most striking piece in the discovery, a large gold medallion, boasts the symbols of the menorah, shofar, and possibly the earliest ornamental symbol of the Torah scroll.
“The striking Jewish symbols, the location of the hoard, the find itself, which gives so much information, all make it a very special find…I’ve also never found so much gold in my life,” beamed Mazar.