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Hebrew University archaeologist Eilat Mazar is celebrating the surprising discovery of a treasure trove from the Seventh century that was discovered during an excavation at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
According to The Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the discovery was announced on Monday. Two bundles of treasure was found at the foot of the Temple Mount at its southern wall. It is believed that the collection of gold and silver coins and jewelry are from the late Byzantine era. Mazar suggested that they were left behind when Jerusalem was conquered by Persians in 614 CE.
Mazar has uncovered thousands of artifacts, but these 1,400-years-old coins and jewelry were a really special find for her. The collection included a giant medallion with a menorah, a shofar and other items on it.
“When I saw it for the first time, I didn’t have any words. I was speechless. I was amazed,” she told the Media Line. “I had this heavy feeling that something here is very unusual. I never found so much gold in my life not to mention a seven branch menorah. It took me some time to really understand what we have here.”
In a statement Monday, she called it a “complete surprise” to find these objects, since they have mostly found items at the excavation site from another era, the First Temple Period.
She couldn’t put a number on how much they are worth, calling the objects “priceless.”