On the penultimate day of Chanukah, police detectives discovered a number of valuable archaeological items, among them a coin from the Hasmonean era, in the possession of an Arab from eastern Jerusalem. The Hasmonean-era coin is marked with the image of a menorah, the ritual candelabra that was used in the Holy Temple.
Police detectives from the Jerusalem district were searching the home of the Jerusalem Arab, a man in his thirties, when they found dozens of ancient coins of great value. The suspect has been detained for questioning and the coins have been transferred to the Jerusalem police department, prior to being examined by the Antiquities Authority.
Among the coins is one that appears to date back to the times of the High Priest Mattityahu Antigonos, who lived in the first century BCE. The coin has the image of the Temple menorah embossed upon it. Another item that was retrieved is a seal, also dating back to the Hasmonean period, which features lettering in ancient Hebrew script as well as the image of an olive-oil lamp.