Abraham purchases the cave of Machpelah for 400 silver shekels. Biblical phrases, archaeological finds, and chemical analysis come together to paint a portrait of how early trade using silver functioned before the invention of coins.
Hebron plays a central role in many biblical stories. It was the prominent city in the Judean highlands, with large fortifications in the Early Bronze, Middle Bronze, and Iron Ages. During the Second Temple period, Hebron was occupied by the Idumeans. Recent archaeological excavations have uncovered large mikvaot (ritual baths), indicating that the inhabitants embraced Judaism.