The remains of an oil lamp depicting the menorah, estimated to date back 2,000 years was discovered at an archaeological excavation site in Israel’s negev desert, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced on Thursday.
“This is probably one of the earliest artistic depictions of a nine-branched menorah yet discovered,” the IAA archaeologist Dr. Daniel Varga said.
The IAA said that it was the first evidence discovered of a 2,000 year-old Jewish settlement, as the site appears to contain underground hidden passageways used by the Jewish rebels around the 1st century CE, leading up to the Bar-Kokhba Revolt in 135 CE.
The sherd of a rare oil lamp depicts a menorah with nine branches, since seven-branched menorahs could only be found inside the Bais Hamikdash.
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