Israeli archeologists unearth Hellenistic-era village outside of Jerusalem

An aerial photo of a 2,300-year-old Hellenistic era village outside of Jerusalem that was unearthed by Israeli archeologists. Credit: Israel Antiquities Authority.

( Israeli archeologists have unearthed a 2,300-year-old Hellenistic era village outside of Jerusalem.

The village, which measures about 750 square meters, was found during recently completed excavations for a natural gas pipeline. The excavation uncovered remnants of stone houses, narrow alleyways, and domestic tools that were used for hundreds of years during the Second Temple Period.

The village was dated using coins from the resigns of the Seleucid King Antiochus III and the Hasmonean King Alexander Jannaeus.

According to the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), the village was most developed during the Hellenistic period following the conquests of Alexander the Great in the third century BCE. But it was later abandoned during the end of the Hasmonean dynasty in the first century BCE.

“The phenomenon of abandoning villages and farms at the end of the Hasmonean period or at the beginning of the reign of Herod the Great is known based on many rural sites in Judea,” Yuval Baruch, IAA’s Jerusalem director, said.

“It may be connected to Herod’s extensive building projects in Jerusalem, particularly the Temple Mount, and the move of many rural inhabitants to the capital to take part in the work,” he said.

Posted on February 18, 2014 .