Middle East

Israeli hiker finds 'second of kind' Roman coin

Portrait of the emperor "Deified Augustus" Image copyright Israel Antiquities Authority
Image caption The piece is part of a series of "nostalgic coins" dedicated to previous Roman emperors

An Israeli hiker has found a Roman coin that is almost 2,000 years old and only the second of its kind found in the world, authorities say.

The coin, from AD107, bears the image of Emperor Augustus but was minted by Emperor Trajan.

The only other example of such a coin is held in the British Museum.

The hiker, Laurie Rimon, will be awarded a certificate of appreciation for good citizenship, Israel's antiquities authority says.

Ms Rimon, a member of the Kefar Blum kibbutz, was hiking with friends in the eastern Galilee when she discovered a shiny object in the grass.

The group's guide then contacted the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), who arrived within two hours.

Ms Rimon then handed over the find, but said "it was not easy parting with the coin".

Image copyright Israel Antiquities Authority
Image caption Laurie Rimon found the coin during a hike in the eastern Galilee

"After all, it is not every day one discovers such an amazing object, but I hope I will see it displayed in a museum in the near future," she said.

Danny Syon, a senior coin expert at the IAA, said the relic was "rare on a global level".

It was, he said, "part of a series of nostalgic coins that Emperor Trajan minted and dedicated to the Roman emperors that ruled before him".

The IAA said the recently unearthed coin was "the identical twin brother" to the one kept at the British Museum in London.

The authority said members of the public would be able to enjoy the rare find "soon".

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