​Jerusalem Dig Uncovers Rare Artifacts

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August 9, 2011

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Jerusalem Dig Uncovers Rare Artifacts – Some rare artifacts have been found in an archaeological dig in Jerusalem. The excavation took place at the site of a 2000-year-old drainage tunnel under the city. It uncovered a sword used by a Roman soldier with a leather scabbard and a stone with an engraving of the Menorah on it.

The network of drainage tunnels was believed to be the hiding place for Jewish rebels hiding from the Romans, who at the time controlled the city. Professor Ronny Reich told CNN that the sword probably belonged to a Roman infantryman stationed in Jerusalem during the Great Revolt (66 CE). At the time there were four Roman legions stationed in the area.

The stone artifact with an etching of the Menorah was found in the soil near the drainage channel. The etching was probably done by a sharp nail according to Reich. “The importance of the etching,” according to Reich, “is the depiction of the base of the Menorah which clarifies what the original base of the Menorah looked like: a quadrapod resting on a frame that was on the floor.”

There where also some other artifacts found believed to belong to hiding rebels. “We found many things that we assume are linked to the rebels who hid out here, like oil lamps, cooking pots, objects that people used and took with them, perhaps, as a souvenir in the hope that they would be going back,” said Eli Shukron, the Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist in charge of the dig. The archaeologists also found a bronze key from the same era, coins minted by rebels with the slogan “Freedom of Zion.”

Jerusalem is a holy city to the three major Abrahamic religions-Judaism, Christianity and Islam. During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times. The Old City is home to sites of key religious importance, among them the Temple Mount, the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque.