Ancient Roman Weapons Support Josephus’ Account of the Siege of Jerusalem

June 8, 2017 | Sue Surkes
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Over the past four years, archaeologists have discovered military equipment used by Roman legions in the battle for Jerusalem in 70 CE. Some of the artefacts were recently put on public display by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). Sue Surkes writes:

According to the IAA, an account by the 1st-century Roman-Jewish historian Josephus of the fall of Jerusalem is being confirmed by objects discovered on an ancient road that once ascended from the city’s gates and the Pool of Siloam to the Temple. “On the following day, the Romans, having routed the brigands from the town, set all on fire as far as Siloam,” Josephus wrote in The Jewish Wars.

Among other finds, archaeologists dug up ballista stones flung by Roman catapults and arrowheads used by Jewish rebels behind barricades as the city fell to the Romans in 70 CE.

“Josephus’ descriptions of the battle in the lower city have come face-to-face for the first time with evidence that was revealed in the field in a clear and chilling manner,” the [archaeologists] Nahshon Szanton and Moran Hagbi said in a statement.

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