BAR KOCHBA COINS FOUND
Israelis exploring a deserted cave in the Judean hills found 120 rare antique coins and weapons, dating from the time of the Bar Kochba revolt. This is the first archeological dig to locate such a large collection of coins dating from the revolt (132 CE – 135 CE). Most of the coins found by researchers from Bar-Ilan University and Hebrew Universitywere made of silver, minted by the rebels using the Roman currency that was in circulation at the time. The Roman emblems and inscriptions were wiped off during the coins’ re-minting, and replaced by Jewish symbols and slogans such as “The second year of Israel’s liberation,” and “For the liberation of Jerusalem.” Other coins in the stash are Roman gold coins, minted in Israel and throughout the Roman Empire. The coins were likely hidden in the cave during the Bar Kochba revolt after the Jewish fugitives had deserted their settlements or after a battle with the Roman army. The find confirms the hypothesis that fugitives escaped to nearby caves and to more remote caves in the Judean Desert.