An archaeologist was surprised to discover "There's gold in them thar hills" in Israel; not just a smidgeon of gold, but lots of it.
According to a Fox News report on Monday, Sept. 9, 2013, Eilat Mazar of Jerusalem's Hebrew University exclaimed at a press conference on Mount Scopus, "I have never found so much gold in my life. I was frozen. It was unexpected."
In all, a total of 36 gold coins marked with images of Byzantine emperors ranging 250 years from Constantine II to Mauricius were uncovered by excavators. The treasure was dated back to the seventh century.
The excavation site is located about 50 meters south of the wall of the hilltop compound known by Jews as Temple Mount in a ruined Byzantine public structure. Two Jewish structures once stood there.
In addition to jewelry and gold coins, other treasures, marked with Jewish inscriptions have also been found. One of the most notable and curious was uncovered at summer's end, in July. It was a mere piece of an earthenware jug that dated back to the time of King David.
The shard was inscribed in the earliest alphabetical text known to have been discovered in Jerusalem. Dating back to the tenth century B.C., the inscription was known to be spoken by Canaanites, a Biblical people who lived in Israel.
Unfortunately, no one can translate the text; however, Mazar's best guess is that it relates to the jar's contents or the name of its owner.