Coin depicting ‘villain’ who persecuted Jews in the Hanukkah story is FOUND: Artifact minted more than 1,850 years is among other pieces stolen from a sacred site in Israel

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  • A coin depicting the ancient Greek king Antiochus IV has been found in Israel
  • The piece was among a trove of artifacts found in the home of a man who has been accused of looting an archaeological site
  • However, this is the first time the coin has been made in over 1,850 years.
  • The king is a ‘villain’ in the Hanukkah story because he persecuted the Jews

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A coin depicting the ancient Greek king Antiochus IV, a villain in the Jewish Hanukkah story, has been discovered among a trove of artifacts stolen from a holy site in Israel.

The piece, minted between 169 and 164 BC, commemorates the victory of the ancient king in Egypt. However, Antiochus is more famous for persecuting the Jews and desecrating their temple in Jerusalem more than 1,850 years earlier.

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While the coin discovery is exciting and comes weeks before the first day of Hanukkah, officials are concerned about a man who broke the law – he looted several other coins and ancient artifacts from the protected area of ​​Kiryat Shmona.

The Israel Antiquities Authority, which raided the man’s home, said that removing such items could potentially damage important research being done at the site and destroy any information that has yet to be uncovered. has not been done.

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The ancient coin dates from between 169 and 164 BC and commemorates the ancient Greek king Antiochus IV’s victory over Egypt. However, the king is known for his persecution of Jews

Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish festival that begins on December 18 and ends on the evening of December 26.

The holiday is honored during the 2nd century BCE of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, after the first was destroyed by Antiochus, who replaced it with an altar offering prayers to the Greek gods.

Antiochus captured Jerusalem in 167 BC and desecrated the temple by sacrificing a pig on an altar to Zeus.

The coin was found inside the home of a man who looted several artifacts from a holy site in Israel

The coin was found inside the home of a man who looted several artifacts from a holy site in Israel

Hanukkah commemorates the victory of the Maccabees, or Hasmoneans, over the king’s forces in 167 BCE.

The Jewish army was led by Mattathias Maccabee and his son Judas, the first Jews to defend their religious beliefs rather than with their lives.

The Maccabean Revolt led to the capture of Jerusalem, the reestablishment of Jewish worship at the Temple, and the Hasmonean dynasty that ruled Judea until 67 BCE.

Antiochus IV is a villain in the Jewish Hanukkah story who persecuted the Jews and destroyed their temple.  The picture has a statue of the king

Antiochus IV is a villain in the Jewish Hanukkah story who persecuted the Jews and destroyed their temple. The picture has a statue of the king

However, the coin is a reminder of the dark times before the Maccabean victory over their Greek oppressors.

Retired Israel Antiquities Authority numismatic researcher Dr. Danny Shayan told The jerusalem post: ‘King Antiochus of the Seleucid Empire was officially named ‘Epiphanes’ – the face of God, but behind his back his subjects called him Epimenes – the mad Antiochus.’

The raid was carried out on Tuesday, and while the suspect told the Israel Antiquities Authority that he was only looking for geological finds, officers found arrowheads, rings, makeup tools, buckles, lead objects, buttons and more in his home. Something was found hidden.

Nir Distelfeld, inspector of the robbery prevention unit at the Israel Antiquities Authority in the northern region, said: ‘While the find is beautiful and the timing of its discovery before Hanukkah is exciting, we must not forget that the suspect broke the law.

Many looted items have been recovered from his house. The suspect claimed to be a geology enthusiast looking for quartz crystals and metals, but also collected coins and ancient artefacts ‘along the way’.

The picture is the same coin found in the man's house, but it is not as old

The picture is the same coin found in the man’s house, but it is not as old

Remnants of the struggle that the Jews fought against their Greek oppressors still exist.  Last November, the charred remains of a 2,100-year-old Greek fort were unearthed in Israel, and experts said the sighting provided 'concrete evidence of the Hanukkah story'.

Remnants of the struggle that the Jews fought against their Greek oppressors still exist. Last November, the charred remains of a 2,100-year-old Greek fort were unearthed in Israel, and experts said the sighting provided ‘concrete evidence of the Hanukkah story’.

Remnants of the struggle that the Jews fought against their Greek oppressors still exist.

Last November, the charred remains of a 2,100-year-old Greek fort were found in Israel, and experts said the sight provided ‘concrete evidence of the Hanukkah story’.

The fort, measuring 50 feet by 50 feet, was constructed of nine-foot-tall stone walls that were built before being burned to the ground during the battles of Antiochus, the Hasmoneans, and the Seleucids.

The ancient war began when the Hesmonians spotted Seleucid troops stationed at the fort which sat on a hill overlooking the Hellenistic city of Maresha.

No fighting took place inside the structure, but Jewish rebels tore down the roof, causing the walls to collapse – and then set their enemy’s fortress on fire.

While removing mounds of dirt from the ruins, archaeologists uncovered thousands of collapsed stones, revealing a foot-thick destruction layer containing hundreds of artifacts dating to the late 2nd century BCE.

The team recovered earthen pots, catapults, iron weapons, charred wooden beams and dozens of coins from the spot.

Credit: www.dailymail.co.uk /

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