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Ancient coin depicting a Hanukkah story villain is present in a suspected thief’s home in Israel

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A coin depicting the traditional Greek king Antiochus IV, a villain within the Jewish Hanukkah story, has been discovered amongst a trove of artifacts stolen from a sacred site in Israel.

The piece, minted between 169 and 164 BC, commemorates the traditional king’s victories in Egypt. Nevertheless, Antiochus is more well-known for persecuting Jews and defiling their Temple in Jerusalem greater than 1,850 years ago.

While the coin’s discovery is exciting and happened just weeks before the primary day of Hanukkah, officials are concerned in regards to the man who broke the law – he looted several other coins and ancient artifacts from a protected area of Kiryat Shmona.

Israel Antiquities Authority, which raided the person’s home, said the removal of such items could potentially harm crucial research being conducted at the positioning and destroy any information that has yet to be uncovered.

The traditional coin dates back between 169 and 164 BC and commemorates the traditional Greek king Antiochus IV’s victories over Egypt. The king, nonetheless, is understood for his persecution of Jews

Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish celebration that begins on December 18 and ends on the evening of December 26.

The vacation honors the rededication through the second century BC of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, as the primary was destroyed by Antiochus, who replaced it with an altar praying to the Greek gods.

Antiochus captured Jerusalem in 167 BC and desecrated the Temple by sacrificing a pig on an altar to Zeus.

The coin was found inside a man's home who had looted several artifacts from a sacred site in Israel

The coin was found inside a person’s home who had looted several artifacts from a sacred site in Israel  

Hanukkah commemorates the Maccabean, or Hasmonean, victories over the king’s forces in 167 BC.

The Jewish army was led by Mattathias Maccabee and his son Judas, who were the primary Jews to defend their religious beliefs somewhat than their lives.

The Maccabean revolt led to the capture of Jerusalem, the reestablishment of Jewish worship within the Temple and the Hasmonean dynasty that ruled Judea until 67 BC.

Antiochus IV is a villain in the Jewish Hanukkah story who persecuted Jews and destroyed their Temple. Pictured is a statue of the king

Antiochus IV is a villain within the Jewish Hanukkah story who persecuted Jews and destroyed their Temple. Pictured is a statue of the king

The coin, nonetheless, is a reminder of the dark time before the Maccabean victory over their Greek oppressors.

Retired Israel Antiquities Authority coin researcher Dr Danny Shion told The Jerusalem Post: ‘Antiochus, king of the Seleucid kingdom, was officially named ‘Epiphanes’ – the face of God, but behind his back his subjects called him Epimanes – the crazy Antiochus.’

 The raid was conducted Tuesday, and while the suspect told the Israel Antiquities Authority he was only in search of geological finds, officials found arrowheads, rings, make-up tools, buckles, lead objects, buttons and more hiding in his home.

Nir Distelfeld, the inspector of the robbery prevention unit on the Israel Antiquities Authority within the northern region, said: ‘Although the find is gorgeous and the timing of its discovery before Hanukkah is exciting, we must not forget that the suspect broke the law. 

‘Many looted items were present in his house. The suspect claimed to be a geology enthusiast in search of quartz crystals and metals, but ‘on the best way’ also collected coins and ancient artifacts.’

Pictured is the same coin found in the man's home, but this one is not as weathered

Pictured is similar coin present in the person’s home, but this one is just not as weathered

There are still remains from the fight Jews endured against their Greek oppressors. Last November, charred remains of a 2,100-year-old Greek fortress were unearthed in Israel, and experts said the scene provides 'tangible evidence of the Hanukkah story'

There are still stays from the fight Jews endured against their Greek oppressors. Last November, charred stays of a 2,100-year-old Greek fortress were unearthed in Israel, and experts said the scene provides ‘tangible evidence of the Hanukkah story’

There are still stays from the fight Jews endured against their Greek oppressors.

Last November, charred stays of a 2,100-year-old Greek fortress were unearthed in Israel, and experts said the scene provides ‘tangible evidence of the Hanukkah story.’

The fortress, measuring 50 feet by 50 feet, was constructed of nine-foot-long stone partitions before being burned to the bottom through the battle of the Hasmoneans and Seleucids, the dominion of Antiochus.

The traditional battle began when the Hasmoneans spotted Seleucid soldiers stationed within the fortress that sat on a hill overlooking the Hellenistic city of Maresha.

No fighting was done contained in the structure, however the Jewish rebels knocked down the roof, which led to the partitions collapsing – after which they set their enemy fortress ablaze.

While moving mounds of dirt away from the ruins, archaeologists uncovered hundreds of collapsed stones that exposed an enormous one-foot-thick destruction layer that held a whole bunch of artifacts dating to the late second century BC.

The team pulled troves of pottery, slingshots, iron weapons, burnt picket beams and dozens of coins from the positioning.

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