A settlement dating back to the third century BC has been revealed in Israel. During salvage excavations before a pipeline was installed, excavators came across the small hidden village.
The 2,300 year old site has shown that it reached its peak during the third century BC. During this time Judea was under Hellenistic rule and was part of the Seleucid monarchy, which occurred after Alexander the Great.
Artefacts uncovered at the site includes loads of pottery for domestic use, oil lamps, milling and grinding tools, and approximately 60 coins of Seleucid King Antiochus III and the Hasmonean King Alexander Jannaeus.
It was abandoned in the first century BC at the end of the Hasmonean dynasty in conjunction with the rise of Herod the Great. The decline of the settlement was likely for economic reasons.
Archaeologist Dr. Yuval Baruch says “that he phenomenon of villages and farms being abandoned at the end of the Hasmonean dynasty or the beginning of Herod the Great’s succeeding rule is one that we are familiar with from many rural sites in Judea, and it may be related to Herod’s massive building projects in Jerusalem, particularly the construction of the Temple Mount, and the mass migration of villagers to the capital to work on these projects.” (from Archaeology News Network)