In this episode of Hebrew Voices, Lost Tomb of the Maccabees, Nehemia Gordon visits with Israeli archaeologist, Amit Reem, at the newly-discovered probable site of the Tomb of the Maccabees in Modi’in. Reem and Gordon once studied together at Hebrew University. Reem now works for the Israeli Antiquities Authority and is acquiring a PhD in archaeology. For the first twenty years of his career, Reem excavated the walls, fortifications and palaces of Jerusalem and thought he would be bored when reassigned to Modi’in, but has since become impassioned with the area and finding the lost tomb of the Maccabees. According to Reem, every inch of Israel is filled with marvelous things, and no less so in Modi’in. Reem and Gordon discuss the history of Modi’in, the setting of the Hanukkah story, and why Christian connections to this place gives credence to the site being the elusive tomb of the Maccabees. Reem also shows Gordon the place among the tombs where 23 Israelis created a fox hole in the 1948 War of Independence. Unused ammunition was found there, for like the ancient Maccabees, these Israelis sacrificed their lives for the nation of Israel.
Amit Reem is a Jerusalem district archaeologist with the Israeli antiquities authority. He is married, has 2 children, and lives in Modi'in. He has been involved in more than 23 explorations in the field of archaeology, specialized in Crusader and Christian archaeology. He has excavated numerous sites mainly in Jerusalem, among these are: The Holy Sepulchre, Mount Sion, Jaffa Gate, Mount Olives, Christian Quarter and many more.
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