Hasmonean-era house unearthed in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A house dating to the Hasmonean period was uncovered in eastern Jerusalem near the Temple Mount.

The building, which was discovered a few months ago but announced for the first time on Tuesday, is located in the the City of David area, a few dozen yards from the Temple Mount.

It was the first time that a Hasmonean-era structure has been discovered in Jerusalem.

The building is approximately 12 feet tall and covers an area of about 64 square yards.

Pottery and coins from the Hasmonean period have been discovered in Jerusalem, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority. Coins found in the building date it as being constructed in the second century BCE prior to the Hasmonean era and show that it was still standing during the reign of Antiochus IV and the Hasmonean uprising, from which the holiday of Hanukkah is derived.

Excavation directors Doron Ben Ami and Yana Tchekhanovets said the building’s discovery “bridges a certain gap in Jerusalem’s settlement sequence.”

“The Hasmonean city, which is well-known to us from the historical descriptions that appear in the works of Josephus, has suddenly acquired tangible expression,” they said in a statement.

The excavation is being funded by the Friends of City of David organization, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority.

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