by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) –
Israeli archaeologists have unearthed 44 Byzantine gold coins at a location in northern Israel where, according to Christian tradition, Peter proclaimed Jesus to be the Christ, Christian Headlines (CH) reports.
The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said researchers uncovered the coins during an excavation within the Hermon River National Park, at the site of Paneas, later called Banias, CH reports. The IAA said the coins provide further proof of the Muslim conquest of the Byzantine Empire in the Levant region.
According to the IAA, the coins in the gold hoard were minted by Byzantine Emperors Phocas (602–610 CE) and Emperor Heraclius (610–641 CE), CH reports.
“The coin hoard, weighing about 170 g, was concealed within the base of an ashlar stone wall at the time of the Muslim conquest,” IAA excavation director Dr. Yoav Lerer said in a statement. “The discovery reflects a specific moment in time when we can imagine the owner concealing his fortune in the threat of war, hoping to return one day to retrieve his property. In retrospect, we know that he was less fortunate.”
IAA numismatic expert Dr. Gabriela Bijovsky added in a statement about the find: “Most of the coins are of the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius, and what is particularly interesting is that in his early years as emperor, only his portrait was depicted on the coin, whereas after a short time, the images of his sons also appear. One can actually follow his sons growing up – from childhood until their image appears the same size as their father, who is depicted with a long beard.”