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Following 1967’s Six Day War, “clandestine antiquities theft had produced a growing number of coins [on the market] from within this series,” according to a 2016 article on the subject by Israel Antiquity Authority coin department head Donald Ariel called, “The Circulation of Locally Minted Persian-Period Coins in the Southern Levant.” Many coins from this period made there way to the market via looting and antiquities dealers.However, while archaeological provenance of these coins was insecure, the coin dealers “spoke of findspots south of Jerusalem,” he writes.These smaller local coins varied from 1 drachma (4 grams of silver) down to the smallest denomination, the hemiobol (1/3 gram of silver),” writes Meshorer.In the late 1990s, the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement and the Waqf, the Jordanian administrators of the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, removed 9,000 tons of antiquities-rich earth from the Temple Mount and dumped it in the nearby Kidron Valley.Our posts include jokes, satire, books, music, films, videos, food, Unbelievable But True, and In the News. Back in 2015 we posted a classic Morey Amsterdam standup routine with Polish jokes, doctor jokes, and golf jokes. Among his regular guests was song-and-dance man Art Carney.“The only Jewish symbol on these coins is the lily, characteristic of Jewish art in Jerusalem and a frequent design used in the Temple,” writes Meshorer in a 1978 Biblical Archaeology Review article, “The Holy Land in Coins.” Likewise, the principle large-denomination coinage used in the region at the time was still minted outside the Holy Land.

But they’re easy to miss: The coins are only 7 millimeters in diameter and of an almost negligible weight.In the Book of Ezra, it is recorded that Darius the Great completed the construction, circa 516 BCE.These Yehud coins are a material manifestation of the era, and stem from the end of the brief Jewish rule under the Persian Empire.According to the now deceased preeminent Israeli numismatist Yaakov Meshorer, the Yehud coins would have been minted circa 350 BCE.But clearly based on foreign coinage, they weren’t so “Jewish” in character.

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