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The Conquests of John Hyrcanus I in Moab and the Identification of Samaga-Samoge / על כיבושי יוחנן הורקנוס במואב וזיהויה של סמגה

גדעון פרסטר and G. Foerster
Eretz-Israel: Archaeological, Historical and Geographical Studies / ארץ-ישראל: מחקרים בידיעת הארץ ועתיקותיה
Vol. טו‎, Y. AHARONI MEMORIAL VOLUME / ספר יוחנן אהרוני‎ (1981 / תשמ"א), pp. 353-355
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23619450
Page Count: 3
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Conquests of John Hyrcanus I in Moab and the Identification of Samaga-Samoge / על כיבושי יוחנן הורקנוס במואב וזיהויה של סמגה
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Abstract

Josephus relates: 'So soon as he (John Hyrcanus) heard of the death of Antiochus, Hyrcanus marched out.... And he captured Medeba after six months, during which his army suffered great hardships; next he captures Samoga and its environs, and in addition to these Shechem and Garizein...' (Antiquities 13, 254—256 — Wars 1, 63). Medeba is the well-known town in Moab, mentioned already in the Bible and in the Mesha Inscription, and its name and ruins survive. Samoga, on the other hand, is not mentioned in any other literary source. It seems from the above text, however, that it must have been as important as Medeba. There has been one attempt to identify Samoga with es-Samik, an insignificant site situated in a region lacking both relevant archaeological remains and all economic or military importance in Moab. The author suggests identifying it with Ras Siyagha, otherwise identified (and correctly so) with biblical Nebo; along with Medeba, it could then be considered one of the two important towns of Moab. Substantial building remains have been found at Ras Siyagha; they have been ascribed to the 3rd-4th centuries A.D., but actually should be dated in the Hellenistic period, as is evident from the characteristic Hellenistic masonry. Furthermore, the town of Nebo (Khirbet el-Mekhayyat) has yielded some Hellenistic tombs and coins.

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