EUROPE AND THE UK (+ Ireland)
Looking for evidence of ancient Wales off the coast:
Evidence of 'genocide' ca 800 A.D. at Sacred Ridge:
PERFORMANCES AND THEATRE-RELATED
The Merchant of Venice will be heading to Broadway:
Latest theory has homo floresiensis as an 'iodine deficient human':
That what-really-killed-folks-at-pompeii story is still kicking around:
EUROPE AND THE UK (+ Ireland)
Strontium analysis of those two burials from Stonehenge suggest they had
come from quite a distance to visit the site:
There is no evidence to support the 'Clovis comet catastrophe' theory:
MANCHESTER. What a builder thought was a quarter has turned out to be a
2,000-year-old shekel, the kind of coin Judas was paid to betray Jesus.
The coin was found during the reconstruction of a Manchester wharf in the spring
of 2006, and now the finder and property owner are trying to solve the mystery
of how it got there.
Phillip Pelletier of Salem was reconstructing the wharf at 7 Norton's Point Road
in Manchester when he found what he thought was a quarter in a small hole in the
sand. He pocketed the change without thinking twice and set it aside when he got
But later, after a closer look, Pelletier realized the coin wasn't a quarter at
all. He brought it to one of his wife's co-workers, a coin collector, who
identified the silver piece as a shekel of Tyre. The collector told Pelletier
the 90 percent silver coin dated to biblical times and was the type of silver
used to pay Judas for the betrayal of Jesus.
Pelletier said he held on to the coin for a while, thinking he had struck big.
Some further research, however, revealed the coin was worth about $800 or so.
The worldwide coin source online lists the coin as worth about $1,000.
Curiosity got the best of Pelletier, though. "I had to find out where it came
from," he said.
He called Anita Brewer-Siljeholm, the owner of 7 Norton's Point Road, to see if
there were coin collectors in her family who might have lost the shekel. Brewer-Siljeholm
said she had no history of coin collectors in her family and was just as puzzled
by the ancient coin being on her property.
"It's a complete mystery to me as to how it got there," Brewer-Siljeholm said.
Pelletier and Brewer-Siljeholm said they wanted to get the story out so they
could solve the mystery of how a Phoenician shekel arrived in Manchester.
Brewer-Siljeholm said she took the coin to J.G.M. Numismatic Investments, a
Beverly coin and jewelry dealer, which verified it as a real shekel of Tyre. The
inspector first weighed the coin to confirm its authenticity; the coin had worn
and lost some of its mass, Brewer-Siljeholm said. The appraiser also noted that
there was evidence the coin had been submerged in water for a significant time.
The authenticity was verified, but no formal paperwork or record was drawn up by
the company, she said.
The shekel was minted by the Phoenician-Judean city of Tyre, which is in
present-day Lebanon, from 126 BC to 66 AD. The coin replaced the Greek coinage
of Alexander the Great. The silver shekel features a graven image of Melkart
(Baal), the Phoenician deity on one side; the reverse is an Egyptian-style eagle
with its right claw resting on a ship's rudder, which is associated with
Hercules. The Greek inscription on the coin is "Tyre, the Holy and Inviolable,"
followed by the date.
The real question is how did this ancient coin arrive in Manchester?
Brewer-Siljeholm called it an "unsolved mystery" and acknowledged her research
has suggested there are hundreds of ways the coin could have gotten to
"The only other plausible explanation I've heard to date is that a bird such as
a sea gull picked it up and dropped it there," Brewer-Siljeholm said. Pelletier
also noted that it could have been buried or dug up from underground by a
squirrel or other creature.
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