Ancient Christian treasure discovered near Jerusalem
Christians in ancient Jerusalem were forced to flee invading Persian forces and many fell to invader swords - but what did they leave behind?
What was discovered?
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - An archaeological dig along an ancient highway to Jerusalem revealed several treasures believed to have belonged to Christians running for their lives.
A cache of ancient bronze coins were recovered, with the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) reporting they date back to the late Byzantine era of 7th century CE.
The coins bear the images of Emperors Justinian (483-565 AD), Maurice (539-602 CE) and Phocas (547-610 CE).
Each coin includes the emperor's image in military dress and carrying a cross, while its reverse side reveals the denomination.
Tests revealed the coins were minted in what is present day Turkey but were discovered alongside a collapsed two-story building that once served Christian pilgrims on their journey to Jerusalem.
A cache of 1400 year-old coins has been discovered on the highway to Jerusalem (Yoli Shwartz/ Israel Antiquities Authority).
Other treasures uncovered at the site include an ancient wine press, with Annette Landes-Nagar, the director of the excavation, explaining: "The hoard was found amongst large stones that had collapsed alongside the building.
"It seems that during a time of danger the owner of the hoard placed the coins in a cloth purse that he concealed inside a hidden niche in the wall. He probably hoped to go back and collect it."
The site's dig was part of a greater project to widen a highway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
The Netivei Israel Company, who financed the highway expansion, and the IAA have been working together to conserve the historic discovery site along the highway.
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
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