The hoard of fifteen tetradrachm were found in a wooden container lined with sheepskin and cloth (Israel Antiquities Authority)

Coins Minted by Egyptian King Ptolemy IV Discovered in Desert Cave

Archaeologists within the Judean Desert unearthed a small wood field lined with sheepskin and purple material. Inside they found fifteen uncommon cash minted by Egyptian King Ptolemy IV, representing “the primary proof” of Jews fleeing to the Negev through the Jewish Revolt practically 2,200 years in the past.

Wadi Murabba’at is a deep ravine that has been reduce by a seasonal stream operating from the Judean Desert east of Bethlehem for tens of millions of years previous Herodium on the Useless Sea. The hoard of silver cash was found in a cave final 12 months and represents “the primary arduous proof ever discovered” within the Judean Desert for the Maccabean revolt in opposition to the Greek Seleucid Empire .

The invention of this hoard of cash courting from Ptolemy confirms the biblical account of the Jewish Exodus. Israel Antiquities Authority

Treasure-laden sandstone caves

This entire space is dotted with sandstone caves , most of which have been inhabited by farmers in historic occasions. 4 enormous caves, referred to as Wadi Murabba’at, have been discovered for the first time and explored by the Ta’amire Bedouin in 1952. In two of them, a set of primitive agricultural instruments courting from the Chalcolithic period (4th millennium BC) have been found.

The Judean Desert has many caves in its sandstone mountains.  Ptolemy's coin hoard was found in one of the Wadi Murabba'at caves, a site of earlier archaeological finds (Pavel Bernshtam/Adobe Stock)

The Judean Desert has many caves in its sandstone mountains. Ptolemy’s coin hoard was present in one of many Wadi Murabba’at caves, a web site of earlier archaeological finds ( Pavel Bernshtam /Adobe Inventory)

The opposite two caves revealed numerous layers of settlement courting from the Center Bronze Age (18th-Seventeenth century BC) and Iron Age II (Eighth-Seventh century BC) . Massive jars, iron and bronze weapons in addition to instruments, cash and implements in wooden, stone, leather-based and bone demonstrated that the occupation of the 4 caves was most intense within the Roman period. In these two caves a number of leather-based scrolls have been unearthed written in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Latin and Arabic, together with fragments of the Minor Prophets and Exodus of the Outdated Testomony.

Now, Eli Escusido, director of the Israel Antiquities Authority, mentioned in a Facebook post {that a} container containing “cash of 15 tetradrachms” found in one of many caves of Wadi Murabba’at was rapidly buried round 2,200 years in the past, on the time of the Jewish revolt, often known as of Maccabean revolt .

Much of the Judean Desert is dotted with caves, like this one, where a hoard of Ptolemy coins have been discovered (Israel Antiquities Authority)

A lot of the Judean Desert is dotted with caves, like this one, the place a hoard of Ptolemy cash was found ( Israel Antiquities Authority )

A ritually wrapped and wrapped treasure

The tetradrachm was a big silver coin considered “crucial forex of historic Greece”, equal to 4 drachmas. The underside of the container was lined with a protecting layer of sheep’s wool and purple material; the lid was crammed with a high layer of earth and small stones.

In response to Heritage Daily a lot of the fifteen cash have been minted by the Macedonian king Ptolemy VI Philometor , the eldest son of King Ptolemy V and Queen Cleopatra I, who dominated Egypt between 180 and 164 BC. AD and from 163 to 145 BC. Historical past remembers Ptolemy VI’s battle with the Seleucid Empire for management of what’s now Syria. Nevertheless, the newest piece of the hoard dates from 170 BC. which implies it was in circulation through the Maccabean revolt, or Jewish riot, of 167-160 BC.

Is Ptolemy’s Coin Hoard Proof of the Jewish Exodus from Egypt?

King Antiochus IV Epiphanes of the Seleucid (Syrian) Empire fiercely suppressed the spiritual practices of Jews in Israel, and the Maccabees rebelled in what is called the Jewish Rebellion. These occasions are related to the Jewish group Hanukkah celebration, then the IAA Facebook post mentioned the cash characterize a “symbolic” and “transferring” discover. The IAA informed Ha’aretz that the cave had “housed well-known Jews fleeing the Romans on the finish of the unlucky Bar Kochba revolt which started in 132 AD. Nevertheless, the newly found coin assortment is “the primary stable proof” that individuals used the cave for hiding centuries earlier, within the late 1900s. Hasmonean period .

Ptolemy's coin hoard supports biblical accounts of the Jewish exodus.  The Israelites leaving Egypt, 1830, oil painting by David Roberts (public domain)

Ptolemy’s coin hoard helps biblical accounts of the Jewish exodus. The Israelites leaving Egypt, 1830 oil portray by David Roberts ( Public domain )

Ptolemy Coin Hoard Solely the newest discovery

This isn’t the primary time that cash have been found within the Wadi Murabba’at caves. It was the invention in 1946 of Dead Sea Scrolls within the Qumran Caves which led archaeologists and native folks to discover different areas of the Judean wilderness searching for extra historic data. In October 1951 a bunch of native Bedouin farmers have been harvesting guano-rich soil, which can be utilized as fertilizer, from the caves of Wadi Murabba’at once they unearthed a priceless historic treasure.

Farmers approached the Rockefeller Museum with pores and skin fragments displaying Hebrew and Greek scriptures. Over the subsequent two months, archaeologist Roland de Vaux bought many extra fragments from native antiquities sellers, who had obtained items of the traditional manuscripts from the Wadi Murabba’at caves. The next 12 months he excavated all 4 caves, revealing a number of layers of artifacts and twenty pieces together with 9 from the Second Jewish Battle (132-5 AD).

Celebrating Artifacts from the Origins of Hanukkah

Coin knowledgeable Dr. Eitan Klein mentioned Jewish News that the traditional Jews almost definitely hid their most prized possessions within the Judean Desert “till some hazard had handed, comparable to these detailed within the Books of Maccabees”.

Thus, the fifteen-coin treasure related to the origins of the Hanukkah vacation, which commemorates the restoration of Jerusalem within the 2nd century BC, can be exhibited to the general public throughout Heritage Week on Hanukkah on the Hasmonean Museum of Modi’in.

Prime picture: The treasure of fifteen tetradrachms was present in a wood container lined with sheepskin and material ( Israel Antiquities Authority )

By Ashley Cowie

The references

Bench, C. 2015. Wadi Murabba’at, Archeology of. np in Lexham Bible Dictionary, JD Barry, et al. (eds). Lexham Press.

Confino, J. December 13, 2022. Chanukah is coming early! Maccabean silver cash discovered within the Judean Desert . Jewish Information. Out there at:

Greece, Attica, AR Tetradrachma . nd Numismatic Emporium. Out there at:

Hoard of Jewish Revolt cash present in desert cave . 14 December 2022. Israel Antiquities Authority through Fb. Out there at:

Schuster, R. December 13, 2022. Israeli archaeologists discover the primary proof that Jews fled to the Negev after the failed revolt 2,200 years in the past. Ha’aretz. Out there at: ago/00000185-0699-dd32-a9cf-eef997d10000

The Useless Sea Scrolls – H. Wadi Murabba’at . nd Biblical Research. Out there at:

#Cash #Minted #Egyptian #King #Ptolemy #Found #Desert #Cave

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