Ancient Coins — A Great 10 Minute Video

The folk over at the Friends of the Israel Antiquities Authority have placed on their Facebook page an informative, entertaining 10 minute video on Ancient Coins. IMHO it is well–worth viewing.  Especially interesting is how the coins were produced and some hard to get behind the scenes at museums, libraries, and the Israel Antiquities Authorithy.

Addition 15 October.  Please see the helpful insights of Dr. Art Friedman in the “Comments” to this post.

The following is an image of a coin of Herod Philip (4 BC- AD 34) minted at Paneas showing the temple built by his father Herod the Great (37–4 BC) at/near Paneas in honor of the Roman Emperor Augustus (27 BC – AD 14 ).

Note the four columns on the front of the temple.  According to the excavators of Omrit, the temple built by Herod the Great is what they call the “First Temple” (actually the second religious shrine) at Omrit.

HT: Todd Bolen

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3 responses to “Ancient Coins — A Great 10 Minute Video

  1. Thanks for the enjoyable post, do you have a link to the video you mentioned?

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  2. Very interesting video with quite a few exceptional specimens. I would like to comment however on a couple of things. The statement from the Tosefta that all coins mentioned in the Torah are Jerusalemites (i.e. shekels of Tyre) is incorrect. The problem is that the Tosefta was compiled in the second century C.E. at which time it’s authors were unaware of the fact that coinage did not begin until perhaps the sixth or seventh century BCE. So how could Abraham avinu have purchased the cave of Machpelach with coins that wouldn’t exist for some twelve hundred years?

    When a shekel is mentioned in the Torah, it refers to a weight of silver. Silver pieces were cut up and weighed on a balance against a standard weight made of rock. These pieces are known as hacksilber. The Tyrian shekels and hatzlacha shekels did not appear until the 2nd century BCE.

    One last comment: the video shows a modern day reinactment of how coins were struck. It’s essentially accurate, but gives the impression that flans (coin blanks) were these nice perfectly round objects that came from individual molds. In fact, most molds were crudely made and had channels connecting the flans so molten medal would flow from one flan to another. When cooled the flan strip was removed from the mold and the coins were chopped off, usually creating a blank that wasn’t quite round.

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