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Fragments of pottery vessels, including jars and cooking pots, from the Great Revolt period in Israel have been found in a large and long-unexplored cave in Jerusalem.

But what one archaeologist found significant was that dozens of coins dating from A.D. 66 to 73, the time period of the Roman-Jewish War, also were found and were in excellent condition.

“The discovery of the coins, which were dated from the period of the destruction of the second Temple, was given particular significant as they were found just before the Jewish holiday of Passover, a celebration of Jewish freedom and self-determination,” reported the Jerusalem Post.

Eilat Mazar of the Institute of Archaeology at Hebrew University, who was running the archaeological exploration, said dozens of the coins were found in a large cave measuring about 20 feet by 40 feet.

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Mazar told the publication a significant difference is evident between the bronze coins minted in the first and final years of the Jewish revolt against Rome.

“At first, when the rebels had hope and faith in their success, the inscription on the coins in ancient Hebrew script was: ‘The freedom of Zion.’ In contrast, during the fourth uprising and before the destruction, the rebels conveyed their despair by inscribing on the coins the inscription ‘LeGallat Tzion,’ or ‘to save Zion,'” the report said.

The discovery was made in a cave near the south wall of the Temple Mount, a statement from Israeli Nature and Parks Authority confirmed.

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“The discovery of dozens of coins in the center of ancient Jerusalem, bearing the inscription ‘to freedom/to save Zion,’ is of special importance during this period, when the Jewish state is preparing to celebrate Passover and the Freedom of the Jewish people 2,000 years later,” Mazar told the Post.

“The coins are decorated with various Jewish symbols such as the four species (Lulav, Hadas, Etrog and Arava) associated with Sukkot, a palm tree that symbolized the tribe of Judah and a cup which was used in the Temple. The ‘Four Year’ coin model, together with the inscription ‘To save Zion’ is the current inscription on the NIS 10 coins of the state of Israel,” the Post said.

Mazar said the coins are in such good condition because they apparently were used only briefly and then sheltered in the case.

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