Rare 2nd Temple-Era Etchings Of Menorah And Cross Discovered In The Judean Hills

The Israeli spelunkers discovered ancient limestone carving of seven-branched menorah, a cross, an ancient key and other etchings dating to late Roman, Byzantine periods.

This intriguing discovery was made during the Hanukkah festival (the Jewish eight-day, wintertime “festival of lights”, when Jews light candelabras to commemorate the restoration of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem.

The spelunkers explored an ancient water cistern in the Judean Shephelah ( south-central Israel). Both engravings are believed to date back centuries, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Archaeologists said that other discovered carvings are yet unidentified, wrote The Times of Israel.

The IAA refused to disclose the name of the site, or any specifics concerning its location, in order to prevent people from flocking to the new discovery and potentially damaging it.

Menorah symbols have been found earlier; one of the great archeological discoveries of our time, was made when archaeologists discovered the 1st Century stone from a Galilee synagogue showing the Temple menorah.

Archaeologists believe that the carvings are authentic and not modern, because the cistern where the carvings were found, was difficult to access. The study of the engravings has already started.

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