As part of the application process for continued graduate work, I was asked to film a three-minute thesis. At the time, I was still traveling around Israel and had just discovered the exciting dig site of the Akra citadel, a site that played a significant role in Maccabean history. As Josephus says:
…he [Judas] made an assault upon the garrison that was in the city, for it had not been cut off hereto; so he ejected them out of the upper city, and drove the soldiers into the lower, which part of the city was called the citadel [Acra]. He then got the temple under his power, and cleansed the whole place…” (Jwr 1:39 JOE)
What’s really exciting about this site is its location. Although Josephus says that Acra overlooked the Temple Mount, it was really located in the City of David. In terms of my research paper, this means that the Akra citadel would not have hampered the Maccabees from taking or holding the Temple. In other words, the Seleucid forces could not have prevented Jewish access to the Temple, let alone a Maccabean de facto High Priest.