Unique Hasmonean structure uncovered in Jerusalem
An impressive structure – five meters high covering an area of 60 sq. m – has been unearthed at the City of David just outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. Its meter-thick walls are made of roughly hewn limestone blocks, indicating a public building or mansion of some kind. The coins found there, in addition to numerous potsherds, help date the building to early 2nd century BCE and its continued use under the Hasmonean rulers of Israel. Josephus and other contemporary historians recorded descriptions of Hasmonean Jerusalem, but this is the first discovery of the remains of a large building of that period. After that, Jerusalem underwent successive periods of destruction under various conquerors. The coins date back to the time of Antiochus III and IV, some bearing the name of Alexander Jannaeus in ancient Greek.
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