Jan 23, 2022

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The  Archaeology Unit of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announced on Sunday that they had recently discovered a lead sling stone bearing the name of a Seleucid leader. The announcement coincided with the first day of the Hanukkah celebrating the Hasmonean victory over the Greek Seleucids. 

Found at Tel Zif in the southern hills of Hebron, the three-centimeter lead projectile also bore an emblem of the Greek pagan god Zeus. The Hasmonean victory in 164 BCE culminated in the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem which required removing the altar to Zeus the Greeks had erected in the courtyard of the Jewish Temple. 

“We continue to discover new finds that are another tier to the rich history that took place in the Judea and Samaria area hundreds and thousands of years ago,” said Staff Officer of Archaeology of the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria Area, Hananya Hezmi.

“The Civil Administration will continue to work tirelessly to preserve and expose the archeological sites, and national heritage and cultural assets throughout Judea and Samaria,” he added

Diodotus Tryphon, nicknamed “The Magnificent”, ruled the Seleucid empire from 142–138 BCE. At first, he acted as regent and tutor for Alexander’s infant son Antiochus VI Dionysus, but after the death of his charge, Diodotus declared himself king. Tryphon is known for the assassination of Jonathan, the youngest son of Judah Maccabee, leader of the Jewish revolt and High Priest of Judea.