Mother-of-pearl menorah etching found in ancient Roman temple

Excavations at the Roman city of Caesarea, West Israel, revealed interesting 1500-year-old artefacts among which is a mother-of-pearl tablet inscribed with a six-branched menorah.

The mother-of-pearl tablet (by Ilan Ben Zion)

The artefact was among many others discovered in the ancient port of the Roman city, near the area of the Roman-era temple dedicated to Augustus Caesar that was constructed by King Herod in the 1st century BC, but dates to the 4th or 5th centuries AD. According to the researchers the object dates to the late Roman-Byzantine period and points to clear Jewish presence at Caesarea during that time. It is believed that it possibly came from what was, some kind of box, probably for a Sefer Torah, the handwritten scroll containing the first five books of the Old Testament.

Part of a Greek inscription (by Ilan Ben Zion)

The ancient temple of Augustus was a large structure that dominated the harbour in antiquity. Excavations in the building, known as Augusteum, revealed more artefacts, among which was the Augusteum’s altar and part of a Greek inscription that has yet to be studied.

The inscibed menorah (by Amir Cohen)

(after The Times of Israel & Ilan Ben Zion)

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