Daily Archives: September 9, 2009

Cache of Bar-Kokhba coins found

Arutz Sheva, Israel National News, reports the discovery of a treasure chest of Bar-Kokhba period (132-35 AD) coins in the Judean Hills.

The largest-ever known number of coins from the time of Bar-Kokhba, the Jewish leader against Roman invaders, has been discovered in the Judean Hills by cave researchers from Hebrew and Bar-Ilan universities.

The research team found three batches of bronze, silver and gold coins in a deep cavern in a nature reserve. Pottery and weapons also were discovered during a research project by Prof. Amos Frumkin of Hebrew University and Prof. Hanan Eshel and Dr. Boaz Zissu of Bar-Ilan.

They found the approximately 120 coins in a “hidden wing” of the cave where the only opening is via a narrow and dangerous approach. Beyond the opening, a small chamber leads to a hall where Bar-Kokhba’s army apparently hid.

Most of the coins are in excellent condition, and Bar-Kokhba’s followers imprinted their own designs over the currency, which is of Roman origin.

Bar Kokhba coins. Photo: Jerusalem University & Israeli Government.

Bar Kokhba coins polished for presentation. Israeli news photo, Sasson Tiram.

The Arutz Sheva report is here. A G News report, with beautiful photos, is here.

HT: Joseph Lauer


Todd Bolen’s new collection of old photos

Todd Bolen has produced a new collection of photos. These are not his photos. They are the famous photos of The American Colony and Eric Matson Collection. This set of 8 volumes features 4,000 high-resolution photographs taken by resident photographers in the Holy Land from 1898 to the 1940s.

Every Bible student who has been using Bible study resources for several years has seen the photographs of The American Colony photographers and Eric Matson. When I edited the Truth in Life Bible class literature in the early 1970s we purchased and obtained permission to use several of the photographs in the literature.

The American Colony in Jerusalem was founded in 1881 by Horatio Spafford (author of the famous hymn, It is Well With My Soul). Eric Matson, one of the photographers inherited the collection, added his own work, and later donated his negatives to the Library of Congress. These photos have been available to the public for some time, but it has been difficult to locate a particular photo. And the quality of some of them, after so many years, is not good.

Bolen describes the collection:matson_dvd_front_200

This collection includes more than 4,000 selected photographs of sites and scenes from Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. All of the images are included in pre-made PowerPoint® files for quick and easy use, as well as in high-resolution jpg format, suitable for projecting or printing. Quotations from 19th-century travelers give additional context to many of the photographs.

The Collection Includes:

  • Volume 1: Northern Palestine
  • Volume 2: Jerusalem
  • Volume 3: Southern Palestine
  • Volume 4: Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan
  • Volume 5: Egypt and Sinai
  • Volume 6: Traditional Life and Customs
  • Volume 7: Early 20th-Century History
  • Volume 8: People of Palestine

The first volume has been released on CD. Other volumes are being released one CD a month. The complete 8-volume set is available now on 2 DVDs.

In recent weeks Todd has written about Shechem, Samaria, and Beth Shean. Almost every tour group visits Beth Shean, but many are unable to go to the other sites. Take a look here at the way Beth Shean looks now and the way it looked in the 1920s.

Complete information on this set is available at Life in the Holy Land.