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Second Temple artifacts uncovered in Jerusalem

JTA

August 8, 2011 | 8:59 am

The stone engraved with the image of the menorah. (Photo by Vladimir Naykhin.)

The stone engraved with the image of the menorah. (Photo by Vladimir Naykhin.)

Artifacts from the Second Temple period were found in Jerusalem.

A sword in a scabbard that belonged to a Roman soldier and an engraving of the Temple’s menorah on a stone object were discovered in recent days during excavation work in the 2,000-year-old drainage channel discovered between the City of David and the Jerusalem Archeological Garden near the Western Wall.

The findings were announced on the eve of Tisha B’av, which commemorates the destruction of both the first and second Temples in Jerusalem. 

The channel served as a hiding place for residents of Jerusalem from the Romans during the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE.

The excavations are being conducted on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, in cooperation with the Nature and Parks Authority and are underwritten by the City of David Foundation.

The 2,000-year-old iron sword was discovered still in its leather scabbard, along with parts of the belt that carried the sword.

The engraving of the menorah shows that its base was tripod shaped. Researchers believe that someone who saw the menorah was impressed by its beauty and etched his impressions on the stone, afterwards tossing it away.

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