Excavators working for the City of David and the Israel Antiquities Authority found a bronze coin from the Hasmonean period while sifting through rubble underneath the Western Wall. The coin, one of 66 such coins yet found, was minted by the last Hasmonean king, Mattatias Antigonus.

Bronze Coin from the last days of the Hasmonean Dynasty

Bronze Coin from the last days of the Hasmonean Dynasty

The Hasmonean dynasty was established following the Hannukah revolt against the Syrian Greeks. Four generations later, in 63 BCE, the Roman general Pompey conquered Israel and established the Hasmoneans as client kings. Their last monarch, Mattatias Antigonus, was a popular and beloved leader. He successfully led a people’s revolt on behalf of the Parthians, Rome’s chief rival.