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2,000 Year Old Sword, Menorah 'Sketch' Found

reprinted from Arutz 7
Av 8, 5771, 08/08/2011

by Gil Ronen

Stone slab with five-branched menorah etching, Roman era sword discovered near Temple Mount.

Exciting finds, including an intact Roman era sword and a stone "sketch" engraving of the Menorah, have been discovered in archeological digs near the Temple Mount recently, and the Antiquities Authority is making them known for Tisha B'Av – the anniversary of the Temple's destruction.

The Authority has been digging – with assistance from the Parks and Gardens Authority and the sponsorship of the NGO Elad – in the ancient drainage canal that served Jerusalem. This ditch runs from the Shiloach (Siloam) Pool to the archeological garden near the Kotel.

Inside the canal, where Jerusalemites hid from the Romans during the siege of the Second Temple, a 2,000-year-old iron sword was found. The sword was inside a leather scabbard. Parts of the belt that carried the scabbard were also found.

Eli Shukrun and Ronny Reich, who are in charge of the digs, said that the sword "may have belonged to a Roman infantryman who was stationed in Jerusalem when the Great Rebellion broke out in 66 CE."

"The sword is surprisingly well-preserved: not just in terms of length – about 60 cm. – but also in the preservation of the leather scabbard… and some of its decorations."

At the side of the canal, a stone tablet was found with a rare etching of the golden Menorah that was a central item in the Jewish Temple. The archeologists note that the fact that it was found very close to the Mount is very important, and they surmise that "a person who had seen the real Menorah and was impressed by its beauty engraved its image on a slab of stone and then threw it to the side of the road, not imagining that his creation would be found 2,000 years later."

The sketch describes a five-branched menorah, while the Temple Menorah had seven branches.

Glimpse of Ancient War in Jerusalem Tunnel

reprinted from Ynet
Av 8, 5771, 08/08/2011

Archaeologists present Roman legionnaire's sword and sheath believed to date back to around 70 A.D., when Rome put down Jewish revolt

Associated Press

Archaeologists say artifacts discovered in an ancient drainage tunnel under Jerusalem are left over from war 2,000 years ago.

On Monday archaeologists presented a Roman legionnaire's sword and sheath found in the tunnel late last month. They believe it dates to around 70 A.D., when Rome put down a Jewish revolt, razing the second biblical Jewish Temple and much of the city.

Accounts of the battle say Jewish rebels fled to tunnels in a futile attempt to escape the Romans.

Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist Eli Shukron says diggers also found clay lamps, pots, and a bronze key. He thinks rebels left many of those items.

The newly excavated tunnel is part of a growing network of subterranean passages under the city.



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