Historians have been searching for at least a century for a fort built some two thousand years ago by the Greeks when they had control over Jerusalem. On Tuesday, researchers with the Israel Antiquities Authority announced that they think they've found the site under what used to be a parking lot.
The Acra was built by Antiochus IV Epiphanes, Jerusalem's Greek ruler, in a strategic point in the city to establish control over the population. Archaeologists say this could be the site where the Maccabees staged their uprising against their Greek rulers, eventually winning control of the Acra in 141 BCE.
"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," Dr. Doron Ben-Ami, Yana Tchekhanovets and Salome Cohen, the excavation directors, said in a statement. “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.”
The excavators found basic weapons like arrow heads and sling shots, along with Greek amphorae (wine jars) at the site, confirming its links to the city's former Greek rulers.