JERUSALEM, Israel – What started out as a fun school trip quickly turned into an ancient discovery.
A student stumbled upon a rare Second Temple-era coin during a hike in Samaria last week, according to a statement from the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT). The coin was uncovered on the eastern side of the Shilo stream.
When the student found the coin, the group leader contacted the COGAT to examine it.
Pictured on the coin are three stalks of grain and a royal canopy with the words "King Agrippa" engraved in it.
Agrippa refers to Herod Agrippa, who ruled ancient Judea from 41 A.D. to 44 A.D. He was King Herod the Great's grandson and the father of Herod Agrippa II, who became the last king of the Herodian Dynasty.
Herod Agrippa is the King Herod named in Acts 12. According to Acts, King Agrippa persecuted the church in Jerusalem. He imprisoned Peter and had James killed.
The coin will be guarded by the Israel Antiquities Authority's collection of National Treasures.
"This is a very meaningful find," said Hananya Hizmi, an officer in the archaeological unit of COGAT. "Every archaeological find has a story that sheds more light on the history of the Land of Israel and the Jewish people. Finds like these complete another part of the historical puzzle of our people."