Tomb of the Maccabees Discovered?

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September 22, 2015  (Source: http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com)

In recent weeks the Israel Antiquities Authority, together with local residents and young people, has been conducting an unusual archaeological excavation in search of the real location of the Tomb of the Maccabees.

According to historical sources, the Maccabees – Matityahu the Hasmonean and his five sons, from the ancient city of Modi’in, led the uprising against Greek rule and were responsible for cleansing the impurity from the Second Temple.

The aim of the archaeological excavation was to determine if there is any substance to the legends and stories that have sprung up around the Horbat Ha-Gardi site, located a short distance from the city of Modi‘in, and whose name is associated with the Tomb of the Maccabees. The Tomb of the Maccabees was described in two ancient books two thousand years old: The Book of the Maccabees and the Antiquities of the Jews, which was written by Josephus Flavius.

The tomb was described as a tall, impressive structure surrounded by columns; it was said to overlook the sea and was built of fine stones and was covered with pyramid-like roofs.

The proximity of the Horbat Ha-Gardi site to the Arab village of Al-Midya, and the similarity of the name of the village and that of ancient Modi‘in, attracted archaeologists, scholars and the curious to it about 150 years ago. Some of them documented the site in their writings and drawings, and some even succeeded in carrying out excavations there.

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