Israel Numismatic Research

Published by the Israel Numismatic Society

Volume 1 2006

3 Upon the Appearance of the First Issue of Israel Numismatic Research
5–14 HAIM GITLER: A Hacksilber and Cut Athenian Tetradrachm Hoard from the Environs of Samaria: Late Fourth Century BCE
15–20 CATHARINE C. LORBER: The Last Ptolemaic Bronze Emission of Tyre
21 DANNY SYON: Numismatic Evidence of Jewish Presence in Galilee before the Hasmonean Annexation?
25­–35 OLIVER D. HOOVER: A Late Hellenistic Lead Coinage from Gaza
37–49 ANNE DESTROOPER: Jewish Coins Found in Cyprus
51–71 DANIEL HERMAN: The Coins of the Itureans
73–86 JEAN-PHILIPPE FONTANILLE and DONALD T. ARIEL: The Large Dated Coin of Herod the Great: The First Die Series
87–96 DAVID M. HOFFEDITZ: Divus of Augustus: The Influence of the Trials of Maiestas upon Pontius Pilate’s Coins
97–99 STEPHEN N. GERSON: A New Countermark of the Fifth Legion
101–110 JERZY CIECIELÀG: Anti-Jewish Policy of the Roman Empire from Vespasian until Hadrian, in the Light of Numismatic Sources – Fact or Myth?
111–115 DAVID HENDIN: A Bronze Test Strike from the Bar Kokhba Revolt
117–122 ALLA KUSHNIR-STEIN: The City-Goddess on the Weights of Ascalon
123–136 LAURENT BRICAULT: Deities from Egypt on the Coins of the Southern Levant
137–150 NIKOLAUS SCHINDEL: The End of Umayyad Coinage in Southern Bilad al-Sham
151–155 ROBERT KOOL: From the Horse’s Mouth: Re-Dating the Anonymous Tvrris Davit Issue
157–165 DANNY GOLDMAN: The HugoWennagel Hoard, August 25/26, 1941—December 7, 2003
167–169 REVIEW: H. Gitler and O. Tal: The Coinage of Philistia of the Fifth and Fourth Centuries BC. A Study of the Earliest Coins of Palestine. Milan 2006 (François de Callataÿ)
169–173 REVIEW: J. Lefort, C. Morrisson and J.-P. Sodini eds.: Les villages dans l’empire byzantin – IVe-XVe siècle. Paris 2005 (Gabriela Bijovsky)
173–175 REVIEW: Y. Meshorer: The Third Side of the Coin. ed. Hana Amit. Jerusaem 2006 [Hebrew] (Cecilia Meir)


A Hacksilber and Cut Athenian Tetradrachm Hoard from the Environs of Samaria: Late Fourth Century BCE

Ahoard from the vicinity of Samaria illustrates that the practice of using cut coins alongside broken pieces of silver ingots and jewelry (Hacksilber) continued into the second half of the fourth century BCE. Both the Hacksilber and the cut coins must have circulated as bullion and thus involved weighing in transactions. Prior to this discovery, mixed hoards of this period were composed mainly of uncut coins supplemented by Hacksilber in equal or greater quantities.

The Last Ptolemaic Bronze Emission of Tyre


A bronze coin of Ptolemy V, struck at Tyre, bears his epithet Epiphanes and a spearhead symbol. These features associate the bronze with a few precious metal coins (Svoronos 1904:206, Nos. 1247–1249), confirming Otto Mørkholm’s attribution of the “Monogram and Spearhead Series” to Syro-Phoenicia. Ptolemy V assumed the demotic form of his epiklesis before December 11, 199/January 9, 198. Our bronze and the tetradrachm Svoronos 1904:206, No. 1249 are apparently the earliest documents with the Greek form of the epiklesis. The numismatic evidence indicates that Tyre passed from Ptolemaic to Seleucid control in the Egyptian/Macedonian year 199/8.

Numismatic Evidence of Jewish Presence in Galilee before the Hasmonean Annexation?


The lily/anchor bronze of Antiochus VII (138–129 BCE) minted in Jerusalem is found with some regularity in northern Israel. It is suggested that those finds are evidence of a considerable Jewish population in Galilee  already at that time.

A Late Hellenistic Lead Coinage from Gaza


The author attributes three previously unknown lead coins dated SE 235 (78/7 BCE) to the city of Gaza. This new dated coinage poses a serious problem for the Josephan account of the city’s destruction at the hands of Alexander Jannaeus in c. 95/4 BCE, which indicates that Gaza lay in ruins until it was restored by Gabinius in 57 BCE. It is suggested that the damage to Gaza may have been exaggerated by Josephus and that the Gazans probably still survived as a corporate entity in some manner following the disastrous war with Jannaeus.

Jewish Coins Found in Cyprus


Jewish coins are well attested in Cyprus from the end of the second century BCE until c. 70 CE. Normal exchanges of all kinds between neighboring countries and the monetary situation on the island might explain this phenomenon. However, this period coincides with the great activity of the mint of Jerusalem and with a fair presence of Jews on the island. Therefore, the two latter factors might have been equally, if not primarily, responsible for the large number of Jewish coins found on Cyprus.

The Coins of the Itureans


The Itureans, who formed a tetrarchy in Lebanon during the first century BCE, minted coins during the reign of Ptolemy Son of Mennaios (85–40 BCE), Lysanias (40–36 BCE), and Zenodorus (30–20 BCE). Many Iturean coins have come to light in recent years, mostly from auctions and private collections. This article presents and analyzes all the known Iturean coin types and their variants, and excludes a number of erroneous ascriptions.

The Large Dated Coin of Herod the Great: The First Die Series


A die study of Herod’s large Helmet/tripod bronze is accompanied by an updated summary of the identification of its type’s iconographic origins, and the absolute date and place of minting. The die study reveals new details, providing a glimpse into the workings of Herod’s new mint.

Divus of Augustus: The Influence of the Trials of Maiestas upon Pontius Pilate’s Coins


This study revisits the rationale behind the use of the lituus and simpulum as types on coins minted by the Roman prefect, Pontius Pilate (26–36 CE). Rejecting the traditional notions that the implementation of these symbols stemmed from the governor’s anti- Semitism or incompetence, it is proposed that the motifs resulted from Pilate’s fear of appearing disloyal to Tiberius. Support for this is found in the use of those types on coins elsewhere in the Roman Empire, and contemporaneous events in Rome, in particular the invocation of the  treason law (maiestas) in 27 CE.

A New Countermark of the Fifth Legion


The paper presents an Antiochene bronze of Otho naming the governor Mucianus (RPC 1: No. 4316), acquired in Jerusalem. The coin bears a clear countermark reading LVS. The author accepts the interpretation of the countermark’s inscription as Legio V Scythica, and discusses the coin’s contribution to the dating of that legion’s presence in the region.

Anti-Jewish Policy of Roman Empire from Vespasian until Hadrian, in the Light of Numismatic Sources—Fact or Myth?


The coins of the Flavians, as well as those of Nerva, Trajan and Hadrian, are examined to see what light they throw on the proposed existence of an intentional anti-Jewish Roman policy. Although Roman coins after 70 CE include issues relating to Jewish subjects, the numismatic evidence does not support such a hypothesis. While those coin types contained a number of propaganda messages, they do not reflect conscious anti-Jewish sentiments.

A Bronze Test Strike from the Bar Kokhba Revolt


A rectangular piece of casually cut bronze, struck with a known die pair for undated Bar Kokhba denars, is thought to be the first known test strike from the Bar Kokhba Revolt. An explanation is proposed for the use of bronze rather than lead—the material of most other identified ancient test strikes. The striking on a piece of scrap bronze and not on a bronze flan suggests that during the revolt bronze and silver coins were struck at different mints, or at least during different cycles at the same mint.

The City-Goddess on the Weights of Ascalon


During the Hellenistic and Byzantine periods, many cities of the Syro-Palestinian area used similar designs on both their weights and coins. Since weights, as opposed to coins, seldom mention their place of origin, the use of designs common to both is often helpful in determining the place of the manufacture of the former. The coastal city of Ascalon is one of Palestinian urban centers where types known from coins were most frequently
employed on weights. Only two such objects have been published so far. The paper presents several more weights with typically Ascalonian designs.

Deities from Egypt on Coins of the Southern Levant


This paper presents the numismatic evidence on the subject of the Isiatic diffusion in the southern Levant during the Greco-Roman period. The phenomenon does not allow for generalization varying in different time periods, geographical areas, and even from one city to another. In several cases (Aelia Capitolina, Ascalon, Caesarea, ‘Akko-Ptolemais), the Isiatic types on local coinage suggests the existence of a public cult.

The End of Umayyad Coinage in Southern Bilad al-Sham


The article addresses the problem of when Umayyad copper coinage in southern Bilad al-Sham (roughly speaking present-day Israel and Jordan) ended. Most of these coins are undated, and no clear typological arguments exist for distinguishing late Umayyad from early Abbasid issues. This has led some authors to believe that continuity in copper coinage prevailed between these two dynasties. However, the archaeological material shows widespread destruction throughout southern Bilad al-Sham as the result of a severe earthquake
in 749 CE. Since this natural disaster brought urban life to an end in many cities, it is most likely that, by and large, the issue of copper coins in the various mints of southern Bilad al-Sham also ceased.

From the Horse’s Mouth: Re-Dating the Anonymous Tvrris Davit Issue


The Crusader copper reading TVRRIS DAVIT was once considered an emergency issue struck during Saladin’s siege of Jerusalem in 1187, and later was attributed to the short lordship of Raymond III of Tripoli over Beirut in 1184–1186. The recent excavation of a specimen at the Crusader stronghold of Mezad Ateret—destroyed in 1179—points to a new mint location and date.

The Hugo Wennagel Hoard, August 25/26, 1941–December 7, 2003


A hoard of a German Christian living in Tel Aviv was concealed on August 25/26, 1941, and, with the hoarder’s assistance, was uncovered in 2003. The process by which the coins may have been collected is considered; the circumstances of the deposit are reported, the contents and nature of the hoard are described, and resulting numismatic observations are made.