Hellenistic Period
During the third century BCE the country was under Ptolemaic rule and was taken over a century later by the Seleucids. In 166 BCE, the Maccabean revolt broke out, resulting in the establishment of the Hasmonaean Kingdom. The Dead Sea scrolls, unearthed in caves in the area, are the most important discoveries of this period. The scrolls include the oldest-known manuscripts of Biblical books and previously unknown manuscripts belonging to the Essere sect of Qumran.
The settlement of the Macedonian Greeks in the conquered lands of the East was accompanied by the founding of cities. The Hellenistic polis in the East was an intermediate stage between the classical city-state in Greece and a city of the Roman Empire, which enjoyed municipal autonomy but was not involved in foreign policy or defense. Greek dominance in the East led to the diffusion of the Greek language and the gradual infiltration of the Greek pantheon and its cult into the worship of local Eastern deities.

Clay oil lamps
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