‘The stones will cry out:’ Hannukah bowl bolsters Jewish claims to land

A stone bowl engraved with a rare Hebrew inscription – “Hyrcanus” – dating to the Hasmonean period (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority)

The discovery of a 2,100 year-old stone bowl in Jerusalem inscribed with the name ‘Hyrcanus’ has just been revealed by the Israel Antiquities Authority, to coincide with Hanukkah – the bowl likely dating from the time of the original Hanukkah.

Although it cannot be proven the inscription likely refers to one of two Jewish Hasmonean leaders of the Hannukah revolt against tyrannical Greek rule, John Hyrcanus or John Hyrcanus II.

The fragment, unearthed in the City of David in 2015, is a particularly early example of such chalk limestone artifacts. The material is significant because it could not become ritually unclean, according to a statement by Dr. Doron Ben-Ami of the Israel Antiquities Authority and Professor Esther Eshel of Bar Ilan University.

During the original Hanukkah the Greeks made wicked decrees against the Jews and desecrated the Temple and its vessels. It is therefore apt that the discovery of this vessel has been withheld until now, a time when many Jews and Christians consider the United Nations Security Council to have just made an exceptionally ‘wicked decree.’

in seeking to divide the covenant land of Israel from its rightful Jewish authority, denying the truth of Jewish heritage and favoring an Islamic claim to the land where the Jewish Temple once stood – for many a ‘desecration’ in need of a revived Maccabean cleansing.