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Extremely Rare 2,200-Year Old Gold Coin Found in Israel

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Archaeologists from the University of Michigan and University of Minnesota found an extremely rare 2,200-year old gold coin minted in Alexandria, Egypt, weighing almost an ounce, at Tell Kedesh in Israel. The coin was not used for commerce but served some kind of ceremonial purpose and is the most valuable ever found in Israel.

How cool is archaeology? Using scientific methods AND the summoning powers of the imagination, archaeologists are able to reach out across time and shake hands with our human past with the vividness and specificity of historical fiction, but with the distinct advantage of making the connection in the real world via objects and their physical and cultural context. Archaeologists are slow motion time travelers.

With the summer waning, my older son will soon be going away to Ireland for graduate school in archaeology. I will miss him terribly, but I am extremely proud he is pursuing his chosen life with such vigor and certitude. Few archaeological finds are as dramatic as this coin, but they ALL help us remember the reality of our past, and that is a noble and exciting pursuit.

About Eric Olsen