JERUSALEM, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- Israeli archaeologists have discovered a rare lead sling bullet with a history of about 2,200 years, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said Thursday.
The 4.4-cm-long sling, found in the central city of Yavne, probably belonged to a Greek soldier, and bears the Greek inscription "victory of Heracles and Hauronas."
The gods of Hauron and Heracles were considered the divine patrons of ancient Yavne during the Hellenistic period, said historian Yulia Ustinova from Israel's Ben Gurion University, who deciphered the inscription.
Such inscriptions were part of psychological warfare, mainly intended to "magically energize" the sling bullet, intimdate the enemy, unite the warriors, and lift their spirits, she added.
The IAA noted that the bullet may have been related to the conflict between the Greeks and the Hasmonean Jews.
In the 2nd century BC, Yavne, which was an ally of the Greeks, suffered attacks by the Hasmoneans who aimed to create a homogeneous and religiously "pure" state.
Tiny lead sling bullets, declaring the imminent victory of the gods of Yavne, attest fierce battle that took place in the city at that time, the IAA concluded. ■