ARCHAEOLOGISTS in Israel have discovered the remains of a Hellenistic fortress that testifies to the great battle of the insurgents against the invaders about 2,000 years ago.
It is an uprising that is celebrated by the Jews on the feast of Hanukkah, and is described in the First Book of Maccabees of the Holy Scriptures.
Jewish rebels, known as the Hasmoneans or Maccabees, including the Holy Martyrs Maccabees, to whom the holiday of August 14 is dedicated according to the SOC calendar, destroyed this fortress as part of an uprising against the Hellenistic occupiers.
Archaeologists have recently discovered the remains of a fortress in the forest of Lakish, on the slopes of the Judean Mountains in southern Israel, the Antiquities Authority of Israel announced.
The fortress was destroyed around 112 BC, a few decades after the Jerusalem miracle that took place as part of the uprising, and is celebrated as Hanukkah by the Jews.
“The battle took place at a time when the leader of the Maccabees, the priests John Hyrcanus, was leading the Hasmoneans in the fight for independence from the Seleucid Empire,” the Antiquities Authority said.
The fortress is located on the top of a high hill and provides strategic control over the main road to Maresha, which was a very important city in the Hellenistic period, reports Live Science.
Archaeologists assume that the fortress was part of a fortified line of the Hellenistic army and that its purpose was to protect Mares from the attack of the Hasmonean rebels, according to the Antiquities Administration.
“Evidence from the site shows that the Seleucid defense was unsuccessful. The fortification was severely damaged and set on fire during the Hasmonean attack, “reads the statement of the Administration signed by the leaders of the research, Sar Ganor, Bishop Lifshits and Ahinoam Montagu.
The fortress was 15 by 15 meters in size, with outer walls up to three meters thick, and seven rooms about two meters high were found inside. Steps leading to the upper level of the building, which has not been preserved, were also discovered, and it is assumed that the total height of the building was five meters.
Archaeologists have found hundreds of artifacts in the fort, including iron weapons, slingshots, pottery and coins dating back to the second century BC. Wooden beams were found and burned, which indicated to the scientists that the fortress was burned in battle.
The uprising of the Hasmoneans or Maccabees began when the Seleucid king Antiochus IV desecrated the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 168 BC. According to historical sources, after the conquest of Judea, he executed 80,000 Jews, destroyed the holy Jewish temple in Jerusalem and banned the Jewish faith. He carried out the Hellenization of the Jews, introduced Greek pagan customs to Jerusalem, and placed a sculpture of the Greek god Zeus in the temple.
Then, in 167 BC, the priest Matthias and his five sons started an uprising, and was succeeded by his son, the priest Judas Maccabeus (Maccabeus), who is considered one of the greatest Jewish military leaders and warriors.
The Maccabees managed to take over the temple, clean it and avenge it, but according to the tradition that accompanies the holiday of Hanukkah, they did not find enough undefiled oil for ritual lamps, but only one vessel containing oil for one lamp for one day. However, then a miracle happened and the lamp burned for eight days, as long as this holiday is celebrated.
“The discovery of this fortress opens a view of the battles and victories of the Maccabee insurgents, providing evidence regarding traditional traditions about Hanukkah,” said Hili Troper, the Israeli Minister of Culture and Sports.
BONUS VIDEO: I HAVE NO MORE SONS, I BURIED ALL FIVE: The unfortunate fate of Zivka Markovic from Varvarin
Follow us through iOS and android apps