A rare gold coin depicting Roman emperor Nero was unearthed in archaeological excavations just outside the Old City of Jerusalem in Israel.
The coin was found in the excavations of the Mount Zion Project, codirected by Shimon Gibson, Visiting Professor of Archaeology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and James Tabor, Professor of Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity at UNC-Charlotte. This Nero coin is especially significant because it was discovered on a scientific excavation, so its findspot is clear.
The coin, called an aureus—the standard gold coin in ancient Rome, bears on its obverse side (see image above) a portrait of Nero and an inscription reading “NERO CAESAR AVG IMP” (Nero Caesar Augustus Imperator). Nero was Roman emperor from 54 to 68 C.E. On the Nero coin’s reverse side (see example below) appear an oak wreath surrounding the letters “EX S C” (Ex Senatus Consulto—“by order of the Senate”) as well as the inscription “PONTIF MAX TR P III” (Pontifex Maximus Tribunicia Potestas III).
Could the moon be younger than most realize? A new study shows that craters on the moon form quicker than previously thought, which means many features on the lunar surface are not as old as astronomers had predicted.
Astronomers at Arizona State University and Cornell University recently set out to measure the formation rate of craters on the moon. To do so, they compiled thousands of high-resolution “before and after” images of the moon’s surface captured by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. The amount of time that elapsed between the before and after pictures varied, ranging from 176 to 1,241 days.
After collecting the images, the astronomers ran the photographs through computer software that identified any changes between the “before and after” images. The results showed that the moon’s surface as shown in the “after” images is spotted with more than 200 new craters that did not exist when the initial batch of photographs was captured.
“From this temporal dataset, we detected 222 new impact craters,” the astronomers wrote in a paper published by “Nature” on Thursday. The largest craters they identified were about 140 feet in diameter.
An evangelical Christian scientist who was fired after discovering evidence that seemingly contradicted the evolutionary timeframe has been awarded a generous settlement after taking his case to court.
As previously reported, Mark Armitage was a scientist at California State University—Northridge (CSUN) who discovered soft tissues on a large triceratops horn that was believed to be at least 65 million years old. However, the discovery became mired in controversy when Armitage described his findings in a journal article.
“In the paper, I just presented the factual data,” Armitage said. “The only conclusions I drew were that ‘This needs to be investigated further. We have a lot of work to do.’”
Other scientists at the university were not pleased with Armitage’s discovery, evidently thinking that he was trying to promote evidence against evolution. His supervisor reportedly stormed into his lab on one occasion and shouted, “We will not tolerate your religion in this department!”
Archaeologists digging out the ruins of an enormous ancient gate in Israel have discovered evidence that confirms one of the Old Testament’s historical accounts of King Hezekiah.
In January of this year, archaeologists began an archaeological excavation in Tel Lachish National Park, which is located in central Israel about 25 miles southwest of Jerusalem. The park marks the site of the ancient city of Lachish, which is mentioned nearly two dozen times in the Bible and played a role in several biblical accounts.
Described by some archaeologists as the most important city in Judah after Jerusalem, Lachish was a prosperous and heavily-fortified center until the Assyrians destroyed it around 700 B.C.
Several decades ago, researchers partially uncovered the remains of an ancient gate at Lachish that is believed to be nearly 3,000 years old, dating back to Lachish’s prime during the First Temple period (1000-600 B.C.). City gates were important places in Bible times, because city leaders and government officials would regularly convene there.