Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hasmonean-era (-ish) ruins found near Jerusalem

Remnants of Hasmonean-era community found under Jerusalem road
A salvage dig meant to allow the construction of a new light rail line uncovers a farm society active around the time of the heroes of Hanukkah

By Matti Friedman December 10, 2012, 6:21 pm 3 (The Times of Israel)

Israeli archaeologists digging under a road in Jerusalem have uncovered the remains of an agricultural community that could yield new information on the lives of residents before and after the rise of the Hasmonean dynasty around 2,200 years ago, the Israel Antiquities Authority said Monday.

The excavation in the city’s modern-day Kiryat Hayovel neighborhood has yielded a perfume bottle, wine press, bread oven and the remains of houses and agricultural buildings, according to an IAA statement.

Archaeologists also found a hand-made lead weight with a letter carved on it — seemingly the letter “yod,” the tenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet and the equivalent of the English letter “y.”

The Hanukkah connection is a little tenuous, but hey, they're trying.

Via Joseph I. Lauer, who also notes an IAA press release in Hebrew here.