Seabed Gives Up Coin Minted 1.8K Years Ago

It's been traced back to Egypt under the rule of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 27, 2022 9:01 AM CDT
Seabed Gives Up Coin Minted 1.8K Years Ago
The coin bears the image of the zodiac sign Cancer on one side.   (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

(Newser) – Israel's Antiquities Authority said Monday it has discovered a rare 1,850-year-old bronze zodiac coin during an underwater survey off the coastal city of Haifa, reports the AP. The coin bears the image of the zodiac sign Cancer behind a depiction of the moon goddess Luna. Experts say the coin was minted in Alexandria, Egypt, more than 300 miles from Haifa, under the rule of the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius, who reigned between 138-161 AD. The coin is marked with "Year Eight," indicating the eighth year of reign or 144-145 AD.

It is part of a series of 13 coins depicting the 12 zodiac signs and one of the entire zodiac wheel. The antiquities authority said it was the first time such a coin has been found off the Israeli coast. "These finds, which were lost at sea and disappeared from sight for hundreds and thousands of years, have been remarkably well preserved," said Jacob Sharvit, director of the Israel Antiquities Authority Maritime Archaeology Unit. He said some of these discoveries are rare and complete "parts of the historical puzzle of the country's past."

(Read more discoveries stories.)

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