Antique coins, plates with pegs and rings were seized from an illegal merchant in Modi’in – Israel

About 1,800 antique coins, jewelry and stamps, pottery plates with inscriptions, and an ancient bronze figurine were seized this week at the home of a resident of the city of Modi’in. Among the objects seized were also rare coins, of great scientific and value importance. Among other things, ancient silver coins from the Persian period, coins from the Hasmonean period, from the days of the Great Revolt, a silver shekel coin from the Great Revolt, and coins bearing the first name of the leader of the Bar Kochba Revolt – Shimon – were seized.

The search – by inspectors of the Antiquities Authority’s Robbery Prevention Unit, with the assistance of police officers from the Intelligence Station, was carried out this week (Sunday) by order of a judge, following suspicion that the man is engaged in trading in antiquities without a license.

Some of the coins seized at the illegal antiques dealer's house.  In the center of the picture is an ancient silver shekel.

Some of the coins seized at the illegal antiques dealer’s house. In the center of the picture is an ancient silver shekel.

Some of the coins seized at the house of the illegal antiquities dealer in Modi'in

Some of the coins seized at the house of the illegal antiquities dealer in Modi’in

During the search, the Antiquities Authority inspectors noticed that some of the coins and items contained fresh dirt. According to the suspicion, these objects recently came from illegal excavations from ancient sites around the country. “It’s heartbreaking to think of the many antiquities sites destroyed there to make money from merchants of heritage values,” Says Ilan Hadad, the Supervisor of Antiquities Trade at the Israel Antiquities Authority“This is a history of all of us that can no longer be reconstructed.”

Captured coins are dated to different periods; Among other things, coins made of silver from the Hellenistic period, bronze coins from the Roman period, as well as Jewish coins from various periods – from the Persian period, from the Second Temple period, from the time of the Hasmonean kingdom and from the Great Revolt and Bar Kochba revolt – including several coins bearing the name of the leader .

A special silver coin, of the “shekel” type of silver, was seized in the suspect’s study. This is a Jewish coin from the days of the Great Revolt – 67 AD, on which on one side appears the inscription “Holy Jerusalem” with a decoration of three grenades in a cluster, and on the other side – the inscription “Shekel Yisrael II” above a trophy decoration. Apparently the coin was in the middle of a cleanup, and only half of it has been cleared so far.

In another room in the house, dozens of coins were seized inside postal envelopes bearing addresses to the recipient, ready for shipment abroad.

According to Haddad, “The activity of the anti-robbery unit in the Antiquities Authority, together with the Modiin police, enabled the smuggling of ancient items from Israel to foreign markets.” According to the suspicion, the man traded in antiquities, allegedly, without a license and in violation of the law for a long time. “The suspect acted while blurring his tracks, and according to the suspicion systematically smuggled thousands of coins from Israel abroad.”

During his interrogation, the suspect admitted to illegal trade, smuggling hundreds of coins abroad and buying pirated coins and illegal merchants in the territories, and bringing them into Israel illegally.

Israeli shekel currency and its reflection

Israeli shekel currency and its reflection

An antique ring with a stone inlay

An antique ring with a stone inlay

Antique coins were incorporated into the pendants in order to sell them as jewelry

Antique coins were incorporated into the pendants in order to sell them as jewelry

According to Eli Escozido, director of the Israel Antiquities Authority: “Antiquities Authority inspectors fight day and night against the phenomenon of antiquities and the illegal trade in antiquities. The ancient finds belong to the state and the public; each coin and coin has a unique story through which one can learn about the history and heritage of the country. Antiquities, torn from their historical history The Antiquities Authority will continue to work with other law enforcement agencies to thwart the illegal trade in antiquities.

The Antiquities Robbery Prevention Unit said that in the coming weeks the investigation will be expanded to expose those who provided the coins to the suspect. At the end of the investigation, the case will be transferred to the Legal Bureau of the Antiquities Authority, to examine the filing of an indictment against him.

Video – The items found in the suspect’s home

Pictured above: The statue of Lord Hermes


Source: כתבות – מסע אחר by www.masa.co.il.

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