Treasure Found Near Temple Mount In Israel Dates Back 1,400 Years

By Philip Ross on September 10, 2013 5:29 PM EDT

treasure trove temple mount
The gold medallion found among the treasure trove near Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. The medallion depicts the seven-armed menorah. (Photo: YouTube/Screenshot)

A treasure trove of gold and silver artifacts was recently uncovered just a few yards from the Southern Wall of Jerusalem's Temple Mount. The 1,400-year-old treasure trove is from a little-known period in Jewish Jerusalem history during the Byzantine period. According to Haaretz, the items were probably brought there by Jewish emissaries during the Persian conquest of the Byzantines in 614 CE.

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"I have never found so much gold in my life!" Professor Eilat Mazar said at a press conference on Mount Scopus. "I was frozen. It was unexpected."

Hebrew University researchers announced the find on Monday, saying the discovery could shed new light on the hardly understood era in Israel's history.

Among the treasure discovered near the Temple Mount were a large gold medallion etched with a seven-armed menorah, a Torah scroll and a ritual instrument made from a ram's horn called a shofar. According to Haaretz, there were also two bundles containing 36 gold coins and jewelry made of gold and silver.

The Times of Israel reports that the treasure was probably a communal treasure, meant to help the sparse Jewish community survive during hard times.  

Other digs near the Temple Mount have unearthed artifacts dating back to the 12th and 11th centuries BCE. There was even evidence of the Biblical King David and King Solomon.

Read more from iScience Times:

Family Finds Gold in Florida Shipwreck Worth $300k; Spanish Treasure Fleet Sank In 1715

Gold Coins Florida: $250K Treasure Found Just 100 Feet From Shoreline

Boy Finds Mummy In Germany: Did Alexander Kettler Discover An Authentic Ancient Egyptian Corpse?

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