Alexander Onn: Biblical Archaeology Summary

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Weksler-Bdolah, Shlomit, and Alexander Onn. “Modi’in: Hometown of the Maccabees.” Biblical Archaeology Review 40:02 (2014): On-line.

The authors begin with explaining that Modi’in is the hometown of the famous Maccabee family and the author Alexander Onn passed before this article was released. An important part of Jewish history lies with the Maccabee family as they were the ones who led the Jewish revolt which is celebrated with the festival of Hanukkah. Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah explains that the most important monument within the town of Modi’in was the tomb of the Maccabees and the site is now identified as Umm el-‘Umdan. The white stone “soared to a great height and could be seen for a long way off.” (Weksler-Bdolah) Archaeologists have yet to find any sign of the foretold monument. The recent excavation of the site was due to the fact that a modern road was planned to be constructed nearby. The author tells us that Umm el-‘Umdan is located with Modi’in. The town is named Modi’in now to commemorate the Maccabees. During the excavation, there were discoveries of multiple structures dating during different time periods that help identify the site as a Jewish village. Weksler-Bdolah tells us that the first one is an unknown synagogue that dates when the
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First, the author does a wonderful job of connecting and explaining that the structures and evidence found were in fact connected to Jewish culture of the time. I believe this adds a tremendous amount of validity to their claims. Second, the graphics within the article were extremely helpful in giving me a visual of what was being discussed. For example, there is an image of the excavation site from an aerial view that allows the reader to see the column bases and remains of the upper and lower benches. Both of these components made the article an enjoyable and interesting

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