The Temple of Jerusalem, in all its glory, appears on the first tetradrachma, minted by the Jewish rebels, to be excavated legally. About 2,000 unprovenanced rebel coins depicting the Temple, which the Romans destroyed in 70 C.E., have also been found, leading some scholars to suggest that the rebels minted these coins after recapturing Jerusalem for a short period during the Second Jewish Revolt. Other caves yielded Aelia Capitolina coins, including depictions of the Emperor Hadrian and his wife. All three, Hanan Eshel argues, were deposited at the same time—by Jewish rebels based in the caves during the revolt. The caves were abandoned in 135 C.E., when Rome crushed the revolt. Thus, the two coins commemorating the founding of Aelia Capitolina could not have been minted after the war, indicating that the Roman colony was founded before the revolt, as Dio Cassius wrote.

“Roman Jerusalem- Aelia Capitolina- Jerusalem No More,” BAR, Nov-Dec 1997.