Israel finds rare 1,900-year-old from the Jewish revolt against Roman occupation

In honor of Lag B’Omer, the Israel Antiquities Authority presented a rare bronze coin from the period of the Bar Kochba revolt -circa 132 CE, discovered in archaeological excavations between the Temple Mount and the City of David.

The obverse of the coin is decorated with a cluster of grapes and the inscription “Year Two of the Freedom of Israel” and the reverse side features a palm tree and the inscription “Jerusalem.”

Coins from the period of the Bar Kokhba revolt, which declared the rebels’ purpose – to liberate Jerusalem from Roman occupation after the destruction of the city – are well-known in archeology.

Discovering such coins helps researchers map out the revolt, which took place approximately 1,900 years ago.

It is interesting to note that the rebels minted these revolt coins on Roman regime coins with stripped or damaged faces, possibly out of defiance of the Roman occupation.

The revolt coins featured the Temple facade, trumpets, a harp/violin, as well as the inscriptions: “Redemption of Israel” and “Freedom of Israel.”

The revolt itself lasted about five years, causing heavy casualties among the Roman legions – so much so that they had to deploy large military units from around the Roman Empire to complete their ranks.

The revolt ended with the destruction of hundreds of Jewish communities and villages that took part in the revolt. However, Bar Kokhba remains etched into the memory of the Jewish nation as a historical hero.