Israel discovers 1,850-year-old Roman coin with moon goddess design

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Israeli archaeologists have discovered a 1,850-year-old bronze coin bearing the design of ancient Roman moon goddess Luna, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said on Monday.

The coin was found off the Carmel coast in northern Israel, the IAA noted, adding this is the first time such a coin has been discovered on an Israeli coast.

The well-preserved coin, recovered from the seabed, also shows the zodiac sign of Cancer below the moon goddess design, according to the IAA.

It is part of a series of 13 zodiac coins, of which 12 depicting the different signs of the zodiac and another the complete zodiac wheel.

The coin was minted in Alexandria, Egypt under the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius, who ruled between 138 and 161 AD. It thus also bears the date "Year eight", the eighth year of Antoninus Pius's rule.

During his rule, the empire's relations with the Jews in ancient Israel greatly improved and previous decrees were revoked, the IAA noted.

The coin was discovered during a survey conducted by the IAA to locate, document, research and preserve antiquities sites and ancient cultural finds that are being endangered by accelerated marine development. 

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