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A Hoard at the Foot of the Temple Mount

A Hoard at the Foot of the Temple Mount

A Hoard at the Foot of the Temple Mount

Excavated by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

IAA:

2014-830/1, 2014-830/2, 2014-755, 2014-754, 2014-753, 2014-752, 2014-751, 2014-750

Archaeology/Hellenistic

A rare hoard containing a unique gold medallion decorated with a menorah was uncovered in a public building of the Byzantine Period near the southern wall of the Temple Mount. Remains of cloth on the items suggest that the hoard was concealed in two bags.

The gold medallion, the largest ever found, depicts a seven-branched menorah with a three-legged support. To its left is a shofar (ram's horn), and to its right, an unidentified element - perhaps a bundle of palm and myrtle branches, a common motif in this period, or a unique stylized representation of a Toarh scroll. The precise function of the large medallion is unknown: Some believe it was used to decorate a Torah scroll or a piece of furniture, while others have suggested that it was meant to be worn by an official in public ceremonies. Either way, the composition probably expresses the hope for the redemption of the Jewish people and the rebuilding of the Temple. Was the hoard intended to help fund this rebuilding, or is the fact that it was hidden near the Temple Mount a mere coincidence?

Exhibited through the generous support of Daniel Mintz and Meredith Berkman, New York

From the Israel Museum publications:

3x50@50: IMJ Collection Highlights, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2015