Valuable 'Cleopatra' coin unearthed in Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, August 12, 2010
Cleopatra, as played by Elizabeth Taylor

Cleopatra, as played by Elizabeth Taylor

A precious coin dating back more than 2,200 years has been discovered in northern Israel. The antique coin is believed to bear the image of Egyptian queen Cleopatra.

At a weight of 28 grams, it is some six times heavier than other coins from the same time, and represents one of the most valuable archeological finding ever made in Israel.

Donald Ariel, the head of Israel’s antiquities authority coin department, said the coin was probably minted by the Egyptian Ptolemies, who ruled between 305 BC and 30 BC.

However he also said that it may date back even further, to the Iraq-based Seleucid Empire.

The coin was unearthed near the Lebanese border at Tel Kedesh.

In 2008, an Israeli team found the ruins of a Roman temple from the second century CE in the Galilee.

Last updated: 5:02pm, August 12 2010