Sunday, March 20, 2016
Who Needs A Metal Detector -Hiker finds rare gold coin in Israel
Laurie Rimon discovered the gold coin while hiking in eastern Galilee recently, not far from the biblical site where it's written that Jesus walked on water and performed the miracle of the multiplication of the fish and bread. Rimon, from a kibbutz in northern Israel, turned it over to the Israel Antiquities Authority.
"It was not easy parting with the coin," she said. "After all, it is not every day one discovers such an amazing object, but I hope I will see it displayed in a museum in the near future."
The coin shows the face of Emperor Augustus, Caesar's heir and the founder of the Roman Empire. Augustus ruled from 27 BC to AD 14, during the time of Jesus. In AD 107, Emperor Trajan minted a series of coins to honor the Roman emperors who came before him, according to Donald Ariel, head curator of the coin department at the Israel Antiquities Authority. This gold coin was created as a tribute to the reign of Augustus. It refers to him as "Divus Augustus," or Augustus the Divine, who Ariel says was considered a deity after his death.
The coin would have been too valuable for everyday use, like using a $100 bill to buy a pack of chewing gum. Common merchants in the Roman province probably would not have had change for such a high-value coin, Ariel said. It may have been part of a payment to a Roman soldier, Ariel hypothesized, perhaps stationed in the area to suppress the Bar Kochva revolt, a Jewish action against the Romans. The revolt had sympathizers near Galilee, said Ariel, and the soldiers may have been there to maintain order.
at 4:45 PM