Thursday, December 10, 2009
Hasmoneans in the News
The (descendants of the) guys who gave you Hanukah apparently ruled over a larger area of the Land of Israel than historians have long assumed. New finds in southern Israel seem to confirm the claim of Josephus that the Hasmonean king Alexander Yannai conquered large areas in the south. According to archaeologists with the Israel Antiquities Authority, a fortress inside a former Nabatean caravanserai (a kind of inn for traders) in the Negev was actually built and controlled by Hasmonean forces. Archaeologists had previously thought that the fortress was built by the Romans. The Hasmoneans held the structure and effective control over the Nabateans' primary trade route, from 99 until 66 BCE.