December 19, 2008

Ancient coin found in Temple Mount dirt

Archeologists say a teenage boy found an ancient half shekel coin in dirt from Jerusalem's Temple Mount.

The coin, which dates to 66 or 67 B.C., appears to have been minted at the Temple Mount itself, Israel's Haaretz newspaper reported Friday. Volunteers have been helping archeologists sift through dirt that was removed from the site in 1999.

Archeologist Gabriel Barkay said the half shekel coin is decorated with a branch of three

pomegranates and ancient Hebrew letters reading holy Jerusalem. Barkay said the coin was used to pay temple taxes.