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Ancient Glass Bracelet Engraved with Menorah Found in Israel

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A fragment from a glass bracelet inscribed with a seven-branched menorah from the Second Temple was discovered during a recent excavation in Mount Carmel National Park,according to the Israel Antiquities Authority:

The dig exposed an industrial region and refuse pits that were part of a large settlement in the late Roman and early Byzantine periods, during the end of the fourth century CE and beginning of the fifth, the authority said. ...

“While examining the contents of one of the boxes, which contained hundreds of glass fragments that had been discarded in the refuse pit, we found to our surprise a small fragment of a bracelet,” The excavation’s co-directors, Limor Talmi and Dan Kirzne, said. ...

According to Yael Gorin-Rosen, head of the Antiquities Authority’s Ancient Glass Department, glass bracelets and pendants from these periods decorated with symbols of a menorah, lion or different images of gods and animals are well known in Israel, Lebanon and Syria.

...She explained that archeologists usually found this kind of jewelry in the context of funerary offerings. "It is unusual to find such objects in settlement strata, and even rarer to discover them in an ancient refuse pit,” she added.

The Antiquities Authority researchers said that while the findings may provide proof that Jews lived in the ancient settlement, it was also possible that Samaritan, pagan, or Christian populations had resided there.

Another hypothesis, they said, was that the bracelet came from a workshop operating in the area and had been intended for other markets.

Tags: Facts and Findings , IFCJ

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