Ancient Modi’in

Some interesting tidbits from the “net” about the city where the Chanukah revolt began …

Ancient Modi’in

The modern city of Modi’in, built in the vicinity of the ancient
Modi’in of Hannukah’s Maccabees, is proving to be an archaeological
treasure, as well.

Recently, archaeologists working not far from the city unearthed the
remains of a synagogue from the country’s Persian period. It is the
only synagogue from that period thus far found in Israel. The remains of the ancient site were initially discovered as road work proceeded on a new road for the region. According to the Jewish Agency’s Global Jewish Agenda, “The remains attest to the existence of a Jewish settlement, which was established in the Second Century BCE, during the Hellenistic-Hasmonean period, and continued through the early Roman period, until the Bar Kochba revolt in the first half of the Second Century CE.”

The Agenda explains, “The discovery of hidden trenches has led
researchers to conclude that passing foreign armies burned the
village, causing its residents to flee, and later return and rebuild
it.” Modern preservation works include stabilizing the walls,
installing drainage to handle rain waters, and the construction of
footpaths. The site is not yet open to the public, reports the Jewish
Agency, “but the various organizations involved are busy preparing
the master plan to preserve, develop, and maintain the site.”

The Persian period synagogue is the latest of the evidence found in
Modi’in attesting to an ancient Jewish city in the vicinity. At the
center of the modern city, there is a mikveh (Jewish ritual bath)
from the Second Temple period, a Byzantine fortress, ancient wells
and evidence of agricultural settlement. In addition, not far from
the city, archaeologists have turned up an ancient cemetery.

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