On a stone bowl that archaeologists found while excavating in Jerusalem’s City of David, they discovered that a name was engraved on the surface. This name may be related to the Hasmonean Kings.
News of the discovery, which was made during digs last year, was announced by the Israel Antiquities Authority on Thursday to coincide with the upcoming Hanukkah festival, which begins Saturday night. The IAA held off announcing the find for the past year while researchers had a chance to study the artifact.
“The bowl that was discovered is one of the earliest examples of the appearance of chalk wares in Jerusalem. These vessels were widely used especially by Jews, because they were considered utensils that don’t become ritually impure,” researchers Doron Ben-Ami of the IAA and Esther Eshel of Bar-Ilan University said in a statement.
The Hasmonean dynasty, descendants of the Maccabees of Hanukkah fame, ruled an independent Jewish state for a century. Two monarchs bore the epithet Hyrcanus, but the exact origin of the name isn’t clear. Jacob Neusner suggested in his “A History of the Jews in Babylonia” that it was a designation for Jews in Judea with familial origins in the region of Hyrcania, an area of Persia.