Archive for January, 2009

It’s the Economy (even for Antiquities)

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

How has the world-wide economic downturn affected the market for antiquities? Like much of the discussion about financial markets, the answer is not simple. See, for example this article – – which discusses some recent high end antiquities auctions. The article quotes Hicham Aboutaam, the co-owner of Phoenix Ancient Art, who maintains that even in these times quality pieces with good provenance will still manage to fetch top dollar. It shouldn’t be that surprising that quality antiquities hold their value over time – they certainly have been around long enough!

Temple Coin

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

The amazing thing about an interest in antiquities and archeology is that you never know when some new discovery will appear. And then all of the sudden there is evidence for some historical debate. The dead world is amazing dynamic and vibrant. And also completely unexpected. A few weeks ago a high school student tried his hand and sifting through some debris taken from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem discovered an ancient coin, most likely minted at the Temple during the later part of the second temple period. The coin, with the words ‘Holy Jerusalem’ printed on it was likely used to pay the Temple tax and appears to have survived the burning of the Temple in the year 70. Though I wouldn’t expect to make this coin part of you personal collection, its discovery should excite anyone interested in the ancient world.