Rare finds discovered in excavations conducted in ancient Shilo in Binyamin show how the Maccabees defeated the Greeks there.
A Hellenistic (Greek) structure that was destroyed during the Maccabean Revolt, which broke out following the religious decrees of Antiochus IV, was discovered in the excavations.
A layer of burnt remains, debris and shattered jars were smashed on the floor and next to them were flagstones indicating the intense battle and the fact that these buildings were inhabited by Greeks prior to the outbreak of the revolt.
Among other things, coins from the era of Antiochus III were discovered below the floor of the building, a fish bowl indicating a varied diet, and handles with impressions indicating the consumption of imported wine from the region of Rhodes.
"Since this is a rural settlement, it seems that there was a foreign population here that was hit during the revolt by the forces of the Maccabees," explains Yair Orbach, the head of the excavation.
"After the destruction, the houses of the community were abandoned and were not rebuilt by the non-Jewish population, and instead a Jewish population settled down until the destruction of the Second Temple.
"The Jewish identity of the new inhabitants is evident in the stone vessels that were discovered at the site, in the ritual baths and coins of the kings of the Maccabean house, the Herodian dynasty and the Maccabean Revolt.
"This is another historical dimension that connects the site in Shilo to our homeland."
The excavations are being conducted by the Archaeological Staff Officer in the Israeli Civil Administration responsible for the area.