I’ve seen bad exchange rates, but this must set a record. From ArtDaily:

The first silver shekel struck in Jerusalem by Jewish forces rebelling against Roman oppression in the first century CE, one of only two specimens known, will be auctioned as part of The Shoshana Collection of Ancient Coins of Judea, March 8-9, at the Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion (Ukrainian Institute of America) at 2 East 79th St (at 5th Ave.). The auction begins on March 8 at 6 p.m. ET. The Shoshana Collection, assembled over the course of four decades by an American collector of Judaean coins, is perhaps the greatest assembly of ancient coins related to the foundation of ancient Israel ever offered, with more than 700 coins spanning more than 11 centuries. Auction estimates on the coins range from $200 to $950,000. “This Year 1 silver shekel, struck shortly after the Jewish War began in May of 66 CE, is the prototype for all subsequent shekels,” said Cris Bierrenbach, Executive Vice President of Heritage Auctions. “Only a handful of coins were struck from this first set of dies before the design was radically changed. Only two ‘prototypes’ have survived to the present day, with the only other known specimen in the Israel Museum’s collection.” In fact, the Israel Museum has stated that it would like to acquire many of the coins from The Shoshana Collection and has a “wish list” available to potential bidders interested in purchasing coins from the auction and donating them to the museum’s collection, or in making them available on long-term loan. This can be done through the American Friends of the Israel Museum, a tax-exempt organization.

The full story is here. James Davila would like to know of any who purchase in order to donate so that the Israel Museum can display the coins to the public.


And I thought the days of archaeological treasures was long past…

The Megiddo Expedition have recently discovered a collection of gold, silver and bronze jewelry, wrapped in fabric, hidden in a vessel at Tel Megiddo. The vessel was found in a domestic context that was dated to the Iron Age I (around 1100 B.C.). This vessel was actually excavated during the 2010 season, but remained uncleaned while awaiting for a molecular analysis of it’s [sic] content (soil). When it was finally emptied during the summer of 2011, the pieces of jewelry appeared.
Both the textile and the jewelry itself were sent to analysis that should tell us more about the origins of this exceptional collection.

According to the biblical record, Megiddo was held by the Canaanites during the period of the judges (Judg 1:27).

Check out the Megiddo Expedition website for some small photos.

HT: Roi Brit

Megiddo aerial from northwest, tb121704980

Megiddo from the northwest