Week 3 marked the end of the first session of 3 weeks of excavation & what an exciting week it was. A 1 week break will now occur before the start of the 3 week second session.
A rare coin was discovered in a first century structure near Julia’s temple at Bethsaida. The history behind this coin is supplied courtesy of Rami -------
In his 34 year of reign (30 CE) Philip the Tetrarch, the son of Herod the Great, as the ruler of the Golan, dedicated the city of Bethsaida to the worship of Julia, the wife of his benefactor, the Emperor Augustus. Philip established a temple in the city, rebuilt the city walls, resettled it and renamed it as Julias. To commemorate this event he minted a series of 4 coins bearing the images of Julia, Augustus and himself and the temple for Julia.
Apparently these coins were minted in a limited number and are extremely rare. There are no more than a dozen coins of this type in museums and public or private collections. Five coins from this mint were discovered at Bethsaida in twenty one years of excavations. Since Bethsaida is the place where these coins were mostly found and since it commemorates the renaming of Bethsaida to Julias, the coins rightly deserve the title The Bethsaida/Julias coins. See the picture of the coin below.
In other loci, students and volunteers were working very hard to uncover the approach to the sacrificial high place near the gate. Judging from the many bones scattered about in this area it is apparent that the high place was intensively busy with sacrifices on the eve of the conquest of the city. Looking back from 3,000 years, it is needless to say that this “last minute penitence” did not help the city and it was conquered and brutally destroyed by the Assyrians. Evidently the Assyrian claim that “Has any of the gods of the nations ever delivered his land of the hand of the king of Assyria?” (2 Kings 18: 33) were not sheer pride but real experience.
In another locus Steve Reynolds and his little team were working hard to uncover the city gate that dates from the 10th century BCE, the period when the city was founded. A few more remains were unearthed and added to the big puzzle of the pattern of the early city gate.
Link to all the pictures I took this season - CLICK HERE
Note : Interesting archaeology blog - http://archaeologydigs.blogspot.com/
Human interest - http://www.communitycorrespondent.com/kptm/, search for Judith Schwartz