CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - Israeli archaeologists excavating at Kibbutz Ramat Rachel on the outskirts of Jerusalem discovered a small cache of coins dating to the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD.
The coins were hidden under the floor of a columbarium, an underground cave where ancient Israelis raised pigeons. Many columbaria have been discovered over the years throughout the country.
Under the floor of the columbarium in Ramat Rachel, archaeologists found a ceramic cooking pot, dating from the 1st century A.D., which held 15 large coins.
"It's a very special to find a hoard like this, and it's very exciting," said Tel Aviv University archaeologist Dr. Oded Lipschitz, who is leading the excavation.
"We know that coins like these were brought to the Temple," Dr. Lipschitz said. "Possibly after the Temple was destroyed, there was no place to bring the coins and since the columbarium was no longer in use, they buried the coins here," he said, adding that the thought of the Temple's destruction aroused "sad thoughts as we approach Tisha B'Av [the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av, when Israelis mourn the lost of the First and Second Jewish Temples]."
Over the past four years, excavations at Ramat Rachel, jointly sponsored by Tel Aviv University and Germany's Heidelberg University," unearthed 380 coins from the Byzantine period (4th to 5th century AD) in one find and another 70 scattered in the same area.