A new award called the Shekel Prize has been created by the board of directors of the American Israel Numismatic Association.
It is to be given annually to the author of the best book published on the subject of Ancient Judaea, Holy Land, Israel or Jewish Numismatics.
There will be a judging committee to make the determination, consisting of Mel Wacks, David Hendin, Ira Rezak, Steve Album and Allen Berman.
The Shekel Prize will take the form of an extremely high relief three-inch medal designed by Victor Huster.
Featured on it are three shekel designs – from a c. 8th century B.C.E. shekel stone weight, a shekel of the First Revolt (66-70 C.E.), and 1-new shekel (issued by Israel beginning in 1985).
The first prize winner is Yoav Farhi, author of “Khirbet Qeiyafa Vol. 5: Excavation Report 2007–2013, The Numismatic Finds: Coins and Related Objects.” Other contributors to this volume are C. Lorber, S. Shalev and S. Shilstein. The Shekel Prize medal will be presented later this year in a ceremony in Israel.
The AINA board notes that this is Farhi’s first book. His MA thesis (2004) was “The Coinage of the City of Lod (Diospolis) from the Roman Period to the End of the Early Islamic Period (Hebrew).” His Doctoral Dissertation (2013) was “The Coinage of Gaza in the Roman Period (1st Century B.C.E.-3rd Century C.E.).”
The winning book’s content is described by the publisher, The Israel Exploration Society:
“More than 600 coins and related objects were found at Khirbet Qeiyafa during the 2007-2013 excavation seasons. The earliest coins date from the end of the sixth century B.C.E. and the latest from the British Mandate. These coins almost all relate to three phases in the history of the site following the Iron Age occupation: the Late Persian-Early Hellenistic period (late fourth–early third centuries B.C.E.), the Hasmonaean period up to the destruction of the Second Temple (first century B.C.E.–first century C.E.) and the Late Roman and Byzantine periods (fourth–fifth centuries C.E.).”
More information can be found at www.theshekel.org.
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