- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Archaeologists have made what they’re describing as a momentous find at the foot of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount — gold coins and jewelry that hearken back 1,400 years.

“This happens only once in a lifetime,” said the lead digger, Eilat Mazar, with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in NBC.

Among the discoveries: a 4-inch-wide medallion etched with a seven-branched menorah, a ram’s horn and a Torah scroll; 36 coins; and a variety of gold and silver jewelry, including large gold earrings and a gold-plated silver hexagonal prism.

“The 36 gold coins can be dated to the reigns of different Byzantine emperors, ranging from the middle of the fourth century CE to the early century CE,” said Lior Sandberg, a coin specialist with the Hebrew University’s Institute of Archaeology, in NBC.

The pieces were discovered just feet from the southern wall of the Temple Mount, one of the world’s most sacred holy sites that’s claimed by three different religions — Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

The archaeologist team made the find this spring and set to work to remove the treasures. They announced the discovery this week at a press conference near the site.

Ms. Mazar said the pieces were probably abandoned during the Persian takeover of Jerusalem in 614.