Israeli cabinet meetings are not usually devoted to archaeological matters, but yesterday Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev showed her fellow ministers a "Free Zion" coin dating from the period of the Jewish revolt against the Romans, found by one of her advisers in the City of David in Jerusalem.
The back of the coin bears an inscription reading "Two years to the Great Revolt," which dates it to the year 67 CE, three years before the Romans sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the Second Temple.
Regev also presented plans by the Ministerial Committee on Ceremonies and Symbols to mark the 50th anniversary of the liberation and reunification of Jerusalem, which will take place in June 2017.
She added that during the Hanukkah holiday later this month, her ministry and the Israel Antiquities Authority would reveal another ancient street in Jerusalem, "the street the Maccabees trod 2,000 years ago."
According to Regev, the street in question was a main thoroughfare in ancient Jerusalem, and the shops that lined it have also been excavated. The street is named Olei Haregel ("The Pilgrims"), after the Jews who used it to ascend to the Temple Mount from Shiloah Pool.
"I see this project of excavating the Old City, of continued excavations in the Old City, as a national project," she said.
This is a lightly edited version of the original article published by Israel Hayom at http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=38701