2,000-Year-Old Stashed Treasure

January/February 2013

Kiryat Gat, Israel
A cloth bundle containing gold coins and jewelry found stashed in a pit in southern Israel was likely put there during the Bar Kokhba revolt, almost 2,000 years ago.

This past summer archaeologists discovered a veritable treasure chest of jewelry and coins buried inside a pit in the courtyard of an ancient building in southern Israel’s Kiryat Gat region. According to the Israel Antiquities Authority’s Sa’ar Ganor, the cache likely dates to the time of the Bar Kokhba revolt, which lasted from A.D. 132 to 135, and was one of the largest Jewish uprisings against the Romans. “This was probably an emergency cache that was concealed at a time of impending danger by a wealthy woman who wrapped her jewelry and money in a cloth and hid them deep in the ground,” says Ganor. “It’s now clear that the owner never returned to claim it.” While there are other contemporary hoards from Israel, this example is exceptional for the inclusion of several gold coins, rare in Israel at this time.

  • Artifacts January/February 2013


    A mid-nineteenth-century trident illustrates a changing marine ecosystem in the South Pacific

    Read Article
    (Catalog Number 99071 © The Field Museum, [CL000_99071_Overall], Photographer Christopher J. Philipp)
  • Around the World January/February 2013


    Read Article
  • Digs & Discoveries January/February 2013

    The Rehabilitation of Richard III

    Read Article
    (Courtesy University of Leicester)
  • Features January/February 2013

    Neolithic Europe's Remote Heart

    One thousand years of spirituality, innovation, and social development emerge from a ceremonial center on the Scottish archipelago of Orkney

    Read Article
    (Adam Stanford/Aerial Cam)