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Hasmonean Artifacts Found in Eastern Jerusalem at End of Hanukkah

avatar by i24 News

Illustrative: A coin from the Bar Kochba era (around 132 C.E.), inscribed with the word ‘Jerusalem.’ Photo: Koby Harati / City of David Archive

i24 News – Ancient archaeological artifacts thousands of years old, including a Hasmonean-era coin, were discovered by police in eastern Jerusalem on Sunday, the last day of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.

The artifacts were discovered during a search of the home of an East Jerusalem resident in his 30s.

The objects were examined by officials from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), and the suspect was arrested and taken for questioning.

The punishment for stealing ancient artifacts in Israel is up to five years in prison.

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According to a representative of the IAA, among the artifacts was a coin dating from the time of Antigonus II Mattathias, the last Hasmonean king, as well as a Hasmonean-era candle and a signet ring from the biblical era with ancient Hebrew inscriptions.

The discovery of the Hasmonean-era artifacts came just before the last night of Hanukkah, a feast that commemorates the victory of the Maccabees over the Greek Seleucid dynasty.

Israeli archaeologists made another Hanukkah discovery last month.

A fortress from the Hellenistic period, destroyed and set on fire by the Hasmoneans, was unearthed during excavations carried out by the IAA.

The ruins were discovered in Israel’s Lachish Forest, located in the southern part of the country.

“The excavation site provides tangible evidence of the Hanukkah stories,” Saar Ganor, Vladik Lifshits and Ahinoam Montagu, excavation directors representing the IAA, explained

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