The Temple Mount is one of the holiest place in the world. This is where King Solomon built the Home of God which stood until it was destroyed by the Babyloniands in 586 B.C.E. Here was constructed the Second Temple until it was demolished by the Romans in 70 C.E. For Christians, the Temple Mount is the central area in Jerusalem of the deeds of Jesus. For Muslims, it is the site of the prophet Muhammad’s ascension to heaven and their third holiest site.
In the late 1990s the Jerusalem Islamic movement decided to convert a large underground structure known as Solomon’s Stables into a huge new mosque. They bulldozed a massive area in the southeastern corner of the Temple Mount without any archaeological supervision and in violation of the Antiquities Law of the State of Israel. About 400 truckloads of archaeologically rich soil were removed and dumped mostly in the nearby Kidron Valley.
In 2004, at Emek Tzurim National Park archaeologists Dr.Gabriel Barkay and Zachi Dvira, under founding contributor – Mr. Avi Tavisal, famous jeweler in Israel and Moriah collection owner, established a project for sifting debris illicitly removed by Muslim authorities from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The goal of this sifting project was to save as many ancient artifacts as possible.
For The Freedom Of Zion
The first coin discovered in the sifting work dates to the First Jewish Revolt against Rome (66-70 C.E.). The fact that it was minted during the First Jewish Revolt against Rome that preceded the destruction of the Second Temple, emphasized the symbolic nature of this event. The coin bore the phrase “For the Freedom of Zion”. The name “Zion” was the name of the Temple Mount in ancient times. As a sign of rebellion, Jews minted their own coins dated to the first, second, third, fourth and, more rarely, even fifth year of the revolt. So-called freedom coins was a sign of rebellion, as the minting of coins was an imperial prerogative.
Sparkling Discoveries From The Temple Mount
Every bucket of earth sifted contained fragments of ancient artifacts. The most common categories of finds from the Temple Mount are coins, jewelry, arrows. The discoveries also include various pieces of jewelry made of semi-precious stones, glass, bronze, silver and gold. All date to different period. Among the countless and priceless artifacts, it has recovered thousands of pieces of glass jewelry. So far, 1800 bracelet fragments and approximately 150 ring pieces have been catalogued. While most of the fragments are from the Islamic Period, some are consistent with dark monochrome bracelets that date to the Late Roman and Early Byzantine periods.
With our Moriah collections we attempt to connect past and present by bringing the ancient holy Jerusalem stones from the Temple Mount and meticulously designing and engraving amazing patterns.
Another intriguing find is a bronze Babylonian triple-bladed arrowhead from the time of the Babylonian destruction of the Temple by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C.E. It may represent the evidence of an armed force on the Temple Mount in those times.
Reviving the past, Moriah collection introduces the relics of the original arrows. They are made of bronze and are available at special request.
Second Temple Period Coins
The Sifting project yielded the largest assemblage of silver coins. The earliest coins are from the 4th century B.C.E., depicting a barn owl and the ancient Hebrew inscription Yehud, referring to the province of Judah. The latest coins from this period are from the fourth year of the Great Revolt against the Romans in 70 CE. The important find is a rare silver half-shekel coin. These coins were used for paying the annual Temple tax according to the Biblical commandment in Exodus 30:13-15.
On each half-shekel coin there is a chalice from the Temple topped by the letter aleph, meaning “Year One”. Around it – the words “half a shekel”.
Our Moriah collection also presents a genuine replica of the original half shekel coin that was salvaged by the sifting project and was taken from the Temple mount. It is made of bronze, depicting all the details of the original.
If you are interested in bronze arrowheads or coins, check availability by contacting us.