Archaeology & History
Ancient Greek fortress of Acra discovered
By T.K. Randall
November 4, 2015 · 5 comments
A reconstruction of ancient Jerusalem. Image Credit: CC-BY SA 2.5 Vodnik
Archaeologists have unearthed the ancient citadel underneath a car park in the city of Jerusalem.
Built by King Antiochus IV of Greece in the year 168 BC, the Seleucid Acra was an impressive stronghold used by the Greeks to control the Temple Mount all the way up until 141 BC.
Its exact whereabouts had long remained something of a mystery but now, following years of excavations at the Givati Parking Lot dig site in Jerusalem, its location has finally been found.
"This sensational discovery allows us for the first time to reconstruct the layout of the settlement in the city, on the eve of the Maccabean uprising in 167 BCE," the Israel Antiquities Authority wrote.
"The new archaeological finds indicate the establishment of a well-fortified stronghold that was constructed on the high bedrock cliff overlooking the steep slopes of the City of David hill."
Although only portions of the original fortress walls remain, archaeologists are hoping to piece together a complete picture of how it might have appeared more than 2,000 years ago.
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