New Inscriptions found at Beit Guvrin- Maresha National Park Reveal more information on a Royal Stele at the Israel Museum (16/2/2009)
The inscriptions, found by Dr. Ian Stern of "Archeological Seminars" at an Israel Antiquities Authority excavation, relates to the Maccabean revolt.
A royal Greek inscription- "The Heliodoros stele"- consisting of 23 lines inscribed on limestone, was exhibited at The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, two years ago, on extended loan from Michael and Judy Steinhardt, New York. It is considered one of the most important ancient inscriptions found in Israel. Recently, three smaller fragments of a Greek inscription were found at an Israel Antiquities Authority excavation at Maresha, located inside the National Park of Beit Guvrin, under the supervision of Dr. Ian Stern and Bernie Alpert. Dr. Dov Gera, who studied the inscriptions shown to him by Dr. Stern, determined that the fragments were actually the lower portion of "The Heliodoros stele". This discovery confirmed the assumption that the stele originally stood in one of the temples in Maresha- Beit Guvrin National Park today. The new fragments were discovered in a subterranean complex by participants in the Archaeological Seminars Institute's "Dig for a Day" program.
The Heliodoros Stele - with all of its pieces restored - photograph Peter Lenny, Israel Museum Jerusalem
The stele at The Israel Museum has been published by H. Cotton and M. Wörrle (2007, Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik) and the portion found in the Maresha excavation will be published soon by D. Gera (forthcoming, Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik( .