Maqatir Monastery Money -- By: Scott Stripling

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 25:2 (Spring 2012)
Article: Maqatir Monastery Money
Author: Scott Stripling

Maqatir Monastery Money

Scott Stripling


Few things are more exciting at an archaeological excavation than finding coins, probably because they provide a direct and tangible connection with history. There is often writing on these coins which is an important factor in archaeology, because a readable coin can help to date the stratum in which it was found. On June 1, 2011, my team in Field C at Khirbet el-Maqatir found nine coins; eight of them were from a single locus inside the central apse of the church. Three other coins were found in an Early Roman house on the east end of the site. In December 2011, another eleven coins were recovered. The table at right provides the details of these 23 coins.

The Maqatir Coins

The oldest coin was from the mid-third century BC (Ptolemy II, 285–246 BC), and the most recent was a British coin from the 19th century. This range of dates spanning two millennia, yet appearing in the same stratum, requires some explanation, since the assumed dates for the ecclesiastical complex are from the fourth to the sixth centuries. The initial pottery readings and the coin dates confirm this. Thirteen of the coins date to the Late Roman or Byzantine timeframe. Six of the coins are from the three centuries before Christ. Five of the six were minted by the Hasmonean rulers. Three of the coins were

Michael Luddeni

Agrippa coin found in the monastary excavations at Khirbet

Kh. El–Maqatir 2011 – The Numismatic Finds

Date of coin

Wt. (gm)

Diam. (mm)


285–246 BC



Ptolemy II

125–103 BC




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