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Ancient Mystery of the Maccabees
Teresa Neumann : Jul 13, 2012 : Matt Friedman – The Times of Israel
The monumental complex is believed to have been the greatest man-made landmark in ancient Judea. Today, during annual Hanukah celebrations, prayers are held in the vicinity of the still-hidden tombs to commemorate the triumph of Mattathias the Priest and his sons who rededicated the Temple in Jerusalem in 165 B.C.
(Israel)—Many people know the story of the Maccabees, the Jewish rebel army that was victorious against Seleucid enemies 200 years before Christ was born. What is little known, however, is the location of a spectacular complex housing the tombs of some ancient "VIP's" near where the Maccabees lived. Historians say the magnificent monument was so huge, it could be seen by sailors on the Mediterranean Sea, 18 miles away.
In modern times, countless well-known archaeologists have searched for the tombs, many of them driven by their faith to legitimize Biblical history, but so far its location has remained a "tantalizing" mystery. (Photo: TimesofIsrael.com)
A report in the Times of Israel reveals that current excavations may change all that.
If found, scientists will be presented the opportunity to determine whose tombs they have discovered. According to the report, it is not presently clear who exactly is buried in the tombs. Descriptions from ancient historians like Josephus, however, have offered important clues.
From those writings, archaeologists have concluded, "The site was located on high ground from which it was possible to see the Mediterranean. The original tomb contained seven bodies—those of Mattathias, his wife, and their five sons—well as other scions of the dynasty who were added later on. And it was near Modi'in, the Maccabees' hometown. The location of ancient Modi'in has been lost, but scholars agree that it was in the same area where the modern-day city of that name now stands."
Stay tuned, as it's possible this wonder of the ancient world could be discovered any day.
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