Jerusalem (Aug. 27)
Jewish writings dating back to the period of the Hasmonean dynasty in Palestine have been discovered near Kfar Shiloah on the way to the Dead Sea, it was announced today. Dr. E. L. Sukenik, chief archaeologist of the Hebrew University, is in charge of the excavations.
The Hasmonean dynasty came into power about 165 B. C. after Jehudah Maccabeus, great Jewish military leader, called by his soldiers “The Hammer,” led a successful revolt against Antiochus Epiphanes, Syrian Greek ruler who had attempted to foist idolatry upon the Jews. The revolt lasted three years. In honor of the victory and to commemorate the cleansing of the Temple, Chanukah, or the Feast of Lights, was instituted.
The Hasmonean kings, at first powerful rulers for a time held undisputed sway over the Jews. Later the family degenerated and while members were engaged in internal squabbles the Romans assumed power. In 37 B. C. the last survivor of the Hasmoneans was executed by Herod, who then assumed the kingly power.