A treasure trove of Roman jewellery and gold and silver coins has been uncovered by archaeologists near Kiryat Gat, Israel.
The treasure is thought to have been hidden during the Bar Kokhba revolts, the third major rebellion by the Jews of Judaea against the Roman Empire between 132–135 AD. Simon bar Kokhba, the commander of the revolt, was acclaimed as a Messiah who could restore Israel. The revolt did establish an independent state of Israel over parts of Judea for over two years, but was eventually crushed by the Romans in the summer of 135 AD. The majority of the Jewish population of Judea was either killed, exiled, or sold into slavery.
Archaeologist Emil Aladjem, who led the excavation, said that the coins dated to the reigns of the Roman emperors Nero, Nerva and Trajan who ruled the Roman Empire from 54-117 AD. The hoard also included a ring with a precious stone marked with the seal of a winged-goddess and flower-shaped earrings (images courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority).
Sa’ar Ganor of the Israel Antiquities Authority, said, “This is probably an emergency cache that was concealed at the time of impending danger by a wealthy woman who wrapped her jewellery and money in a cloth and hid them deep in the ground prior to or during the Bar Kokhba revolt. It is now clear that the owner of the hoard never returned to claim it.”