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Coin of Jesus Found in Ancient Tiberias Excavation

March 14, 2005
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To their great surprise, a group of young people, who were participating in the dig, discovered a rare coin. On the front of the coin can be seen a somewhat blurred image of Jesus, while on the back, the words “Jesus the Messiah King of Kings,” in Greek, are engraved very clearly.

This coin is one of a series of coins that were issued in Constantinople (present-day Istanbul) in celebration of the first millennium since Jesus's birth. It is not uncommon to find this coin in neighboring countries of Israel, such as Turkey, but this is the first time that it has ever been discovered at an Israeli archaeological site.

Professor Yizhar Hirschfeld, director of this excavation, which is sponsored by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Brown University, in association with the City of Tiberias and the Israel Antiquities Authority, explains that this coin was brought to Tiberias by Christian pilgrims.Tiberias and other sites around the Sea of Galilee were desired destinations of Christian pilgrims during the time of Muslim rule in Israel from the 7th to 11th centuries.

Zohar Oved, mayor of Tiberias, who stands behind the efforts of this excavation, has stated that the finding of the Jesus coin on the shore of the Sea of Galilee will be a drawing point for tourists from all over the world.

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