Hasmonean artifacts found in East Jerusalem at end of Chanukah

i24NEWS

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An ancient Hasmonean-era coin is seen among the artifacts seized from the home of an east Jerusalem resident on the last night of Chanukah, on December 5, 2021.
Police Spokesperson's UnitAn ancient Hasmonean-era coin is seen among the artifacts seized from the home of an east Jerusalem resident on the last night of Chanukah, on December 5, 2021.

Among the artifacts was a coin dating from the time of Antigonus II Mattathias

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

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.

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

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 Chanukah, a feast that commemorates the victory of the Maccabees over the Greek Seleucid dynasty.

Israeli archaeologists made another Chanukah 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