BAR 4:01, Mar 1978
The Holy Land in Coins
What archaeologists find is important. But what they dont find can be just as importantsuch as their failure to find coins anywhere in the world before the end of the 7th century B.C. In the Holy Land, coins are not found until about 100 years later.
This total absence of coinsdespite extensive excavationsis an important datum in itself. It means that Biblical references to specific coins during the First Temple Period (c. 960 B.C.586 B.C.) are anachronistic. The Biblical historian writing at a later time, when coins were in use, assumedincorrectlythat they were in use at an earlier period.
There are several examples of this kind of anachronism in the Bible. The author of the first book of Chronicles (writing during the Persian Period (539333 B.C., the beginning of the Second Temple period) anachronistically assumed that coins were in use in the earlier period he was writing about; the author tells us of contributions of darics to assist in building Solomons Temple (see 1 Chronicles 29:7).