This month, Israeli archaeologists said one of the most important discoveries in recent years. It gives the answer to one of the greatest mysteries of ancient Jerusalem.
Right outside the Temple mount, opposite the walls of the Old city ten years ago was the Parking, but since then, Israeli archeologists are digging. It is the largest archaeological research in the city. Scientists say that found here explains one of the biggest mysteries of ancient Jerusalem. For more than a hundred years archaeologists have been searching for Greek fortress, known as ACRA from the time of the Maccabees in the second century BC. Now, I found it.
“We are completely confident that we have before us a fragment of the fortress, which represented the upper part of the city of David when Antiochus IV,” says Doron Ben-AMI of the Israel antiquities authority.
Antiochus IV built this fortress with a height of over 15 meters to control Jerusalem. She had a mound, known as “glacis”. After Antiochus desecrated the Jewish temple, the Maccabees, also known as “hasmoney”, revolted. Excavations have revealed evidence of arrowheads inscribed with “Antiochus” and sling stones. The discovery confirms the description by historian Josephus and the Book of Maccabees.
“In the Book of Maccabees, specifically says that the fortress of AKRA was built in the city of David,” says Rabbi barnea Levi Selavan, co-Director of the Foundation “Stone”.
The discovery also fills another important gap in the history of ancient Jerusalem.
“Today, thanks to this discovery, we can connect other elements that until now were isolated, and by combining them, to see the real fortress or citadel that were here, in the upper part of the city of David,” says Doron Ben-AMI.
Rabbi barnea Levi Selavan says that this discovery revives the story of Hanukkah: “Now, talking to a fourth grader or a four year old child, or a cynical student of the mighty Empire of the Greeks, I can show it is an unprecedented powerful structure, which is mentioned in the texts with the descriptions of the battles. Thus history comes to life!”
Hanukkah is an eight — day celebration of the rededication of the temple after the Maccabees recaptured it from Antiochus. Explains that by lighting the menorah, the Maccabees found the oil they have only one day. Miraculously it lasted for eight. Selavan says that these ancient stones cry out, addressing the living today.
“Josephus writes that the Greeks have erected a powerful fortress, which controlled the city. What a brave hasmoney that rebelled against the Greeks who were right in Jerusalem! What a brave hasmoney that served in the house for 25 years surrounded by Greek warriors! “At least we can serve God! Yes, we have no political freedom, but most importantly, we can serve God!” — says Rabbi Selavan.