Monday, November 29, 2021

Slingstone bearing name of Hasmonean-era baddie

HANUKKAH ARCHAEOLOGY: Sling stone from Hasmonean period found in southern Hebron Hills. The carved piece of ammunition bears the name of Seleucid leader Diodotus Tryphon and an emblem of the Greek god Zeus; find announced on 1st night of Hannukah (Times of Israel).
A lead sling stone bearing the name of a Seleucid leader who fought against the Hasmoneans was recently found in the southern Hebron Hills in the West Bank by the military’s Civil Administration’s Archaeology Unit.

While it was unclear when the item was found, the Civil Administration released it to the media on Sunday, the first day of the Hanukkah festival, which celebrates the Jewish victory over the Seleucid Empire during the Hasmonean period.

The ammunition had the name of Diodotus Tryphon — who reigned over the Seleucid Empire between 142 and 138 BC — inscribed on it in Greek.


The IAA seems to have been saving up Hasmonean-era discoveries to announce during Hanukkah. It will be interesting to see what else comes out this week.

For the rise and fall of Diodotus Tryphon ("Trypho"), see 1 Maccabees 11-15. Josephus also tell his story interspersed through Antiquities 13.131-224. Once again, it is left to a blogger to find some of the primary-source references for you. For a brief timeline of Tryphon's life, see here.

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