I read an interesting article today about a coin minted at the temple mount to pay the half shekel temple tax during the revolt against the Romans in 66 or 67 AD. “The face of the coin is decorated with a branch of three pomegranates and ancient Hebrew letters reading ‘holy Jerusalem.'” On the obverse, it reads ‘half shekel.’ Click the link for an image.
It’s always cool to see that ancient coins and other artifacts from this period are still turning up even if it is through unfortunate means as in this case.
It is always interesting to read about the history of Christianity in the Middle East, especially in what are now Muslim countries. BBC tells of another ancient church recently discovered at Palmyra, Syria dating to the fourth or fifth century. Apparently it was quite a large building although they do not estimate how many people would have gathered there. Its “base measures 12m by 24m (39′ by 79′) with 6m-high (20′) columns.” If we are very blessed they will find some perfectly preserved Bibles buried under the ruins.