November 16, 2015

Acra: Ancient Citadel Unearthed In Jerusalem



For 100 years, archaeologists and historians have guessed at the location of the Acra — an ancient citadel constructed in Jerusalem more than 2,000 years ago, during the reign of the Greek ruler Antiochus IV Epiphanes (215-164 B.C.). But a group of archaeologists working at the City of David dig site in Jerusalem Walls National Park may have just solved the mystery. 

The group recently unearthed a massive stone wall and tower, along with bronze arrowheads and other clues that point to the Jewish revolt that finally toppled the Greek citadel. Here are some of the most fascinating finds from the new discovery. [Read the full story about the discovery of the Acra]

Digging at the site revealed the massive remains of the ancient fortress' stone wall and 65-foot-tall (20 meters) tower. Archaeologists also  excavated a sloping embankment, or glacis, at the base of the wall. The embankment was built to keep attacks from reaching the base of the citadel.

The Acra was built in a strategic location such that Greek soldiers could control all access to the Temple Mount, a Jewish holy site and place of worship. The citadel blocked all access to the Temple Mount from the southern parts of the city. (Credit: Assaf Peretz, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.)

During the excavation lead sling stones and bronze arrowheads stamped with the symbol of the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes were discovered. Archaeologists also found ancient coins near the stone wall of Acra that date back to the time of Antiochus Epiphanes' reign. Other coins were unearthed that were made during the reign of Antiochus VII (139-129 B.C.).

These lead sling stones and bronze arrowheads offer evidence of the attempts to conquer the Greek citadel. The Acra finally fell in 141 B.C. after a siege led by Simon Maccabeus, a prominent figure in the Jewish revolt against the Seleucid Dynasty of ancient Greece. (Credit: Clara Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.)

In examination of the site, remains of handles from wine jars used by the inhabitants of the citadel were uncovered. (Credit: Clara Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.)

With many thanks to Live Science

Follow Live Science @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on Live Science.

Some other posts on archeology:
Stonehenge: A Breakthrough In An Age-old Mystery?
Chauvet Cave Paintings: Cave Women Left Their Artistic Mark
Colossal Pharaoh Statues of Amenhotep III Found in Egypt’s Temple City Luxor
Lost City of Heracleion Gives Up Its Secrets
Shilling Discovery 'Could' Rewrite Canadian History
Fake Pharaoh: Tutankhamun Replica To Safeguard Original Tomb
10,000-year-old House Uncovered Outside Of Jerusalem
Great Zimbabwe
Rock-hewn Tombs From Ancient Egypt Discovered In Aswan
Europe's Oldest Human Footprints Found: 900,000 Year-old Norfolk Footprints 'Definitely Human”
First Pharaoh Ruled Ancient Egypt Earlier Than First Thought  
The Antikythera Mechanism - The World's Oldest Known Computer
Archaeologists Digging Up Cecile B DeMille's Movie Treasures
The Lost Technology of Ancient Egyptians
The Elgin Marbles - A Continuing Controversy
Zeugma: 2,000-Year-Old Mosaics Uncovered In Turkey
Five Lost Cities
China's Lost Civilization: The Mystery Of Sanxingdui
Hatshepsut: From Queen to Pharaoh
Ancient Tomb in Amphipolis Revealed
Easter Island: Scientists Are Closer To Understanding What Wiped Out Its Society
The World’s Priceless Treasures
Relief of Queen Nefertiti
Gold Treasures Discovered in Ming Dynasty Tomb
Unique Mosaic Images Uncovered in Fifth-Century Synagogue 
 Philip of Macedonia, Greece’s Ancient King, Found 
Queen Nefertiti: Was She Hidden In King Tutankhamun’s Tomb?
The Cave of Altamira and Paleolithic Cave Art of Northern Spain

The Antikythera Mechanism: Second Expedition Seeks More Mechanism Remains 
 Discovery Of Ancient Cave Paintings In Petra
Scientists Find ‘Superhenge’ That Could Be Five Times The Area Of Stonehenge
Rome Reborn – An Amazing Digital Model of Ancient Rome
A Day in Pompeii
The Holigost: 600 Year Old Pride of Henry V’s Fleet May Have Been Found
Ippolito Rosellini: The Monuments of Egypt And Nubia
Gem-Filled Warrior's Tomb Discovered in Ancient Greek City  
Amenhotep’s Fragmented Book Of The Dead Found  
Glastonbury Legends, King Arthur’s ‘Grave’, Made Up For Cash By Monks
Is Queen Nefertiti Buried In King Tutankhaman’s Tomb? - Latest News
King Hezekiah's Seal Impression Found
Spanish Galleon San Jose Discovered Laden With Treasure Off Colombia 
Has The Lost Island Of Kane Been Found?
'Britain's Pompeii' Found at Bronze Age Settlement 
Babylonians Tracked Jupiter with Fancy Math, Tablet Reveals 
New Clues to Ancient Roman Art Discovered in Egyptian Mummy Portraits
Hidden Rooms In King Tut’s Tomb May Contain Organic Material 
Ancestral Puebloans Were Hit By Boom and Bust
 Bible Breakthrough Found In Israel
What’s REALLY Inside A Pyramid:1st 3D Images Created Using Cosmic Particles
Queen Hatshepsut's Building Blocks Discovered
Nefertiti Still Missing: King Tut's Tomb Shows No Hidden Chambers
The World's 20 Most Impressive Ancient Builds
Dagger in King Tut's Tomb Was Made With Iron From A Meteorite 
Rare Ancient Greek Gold Crown Discovered Under A Bed. 
Team Testing New Scanner on Egypt's Great Pyramid
Ancient Mayan Observatory Was Used To Track Venus And Mars
Archaeologists Find 22 Ancient Greek Shipwrecks
Archaeologists Reveal Probable Sites Of Two Missions That Predate The Alamo

Palace Found At Tintagel, Fabled Birthplace Of King Arthur  
Marble Statues of Aphrodite Unearthed At Petra
Did the Greeks Help Sculpt China's Terra Cotta Warriors?
Egyptian Mummy And Temple 4200 Years Old With Well-Preserved Art Revealed