10-year-old discovers rare coin of King David in Israel. 9-28-15

10-year-old discovers rare coin of King David in Israel. 9-28-15

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dome on the rock

More than 170,000 people have volunteered to sift through the dirt of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem over the past decade, but the project’s most important find was made by a 10-year-old boy from Russia. Matvei Tcepliaev was volunteering at the Temple Mount Sifting Project recently when he uncovered an ancient coin from the 10th century BCE — when King David was ruling. The Temple Mount is the site where, according to the Bible, King David built the First Temple of the Jews around 1000 BC.


The dirt through which Tcepliaev was sifting was “removed illegally from the Israeli capital’s most contested holy site at the turn of the 20th century,” the New Historian says. While the illegal removal of the dirt destroyed much of the historical context, archaeologists have still uncovered valuable objects, which they then can date through comparisons with other artifacts.


The latest find, which archaeologists note is “the first of its kind to be discovered anywhere within the entire city,” offers researchers some evidence that the Bible’s depiction of Jerusalem in the 10th century BCE is accurate and that Temple Mount very well may have been an administrative center. The date on the coin’s seal corresponds with King David’s conquest of Jerusalem, the Temple’s construction, and the creation of King Solomon’s royal office compound. Becca Stanek

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