Archaeologists have uncovered a 2000-year-old Jewish settlement in the South city of Be’er Sheva.
The excavation found among other things a piece of an oil lamp decorated with a nine-branched menorah at the site of the settlement in the Negev desert region.
This is according to a statement released on Thursday by Ben-Gurion University and the Israel Antiquities Authority.
“This is probably one of the earliest artistic depictions of a nine-branched menorah yet discovered,’’ Peter Fabian of Ben-Gurion University said.
“The 2000-square-metre excavation site includes “the foundations of a large watchtower, baking facilities“.
“Others are ancient trash pits and an underground system that was probably used as a Jewish ritual bath,’’ Fabian and Daniel Varga of the Israel Antiquities Authority were quoted as saying in the statement.
There are also signs of a fire dating back to about 70 AD, the time of the first Jewish revolt against Roman rule.
The researchers also assumed that there are more tunnels under the site, possibly from the time of the Bar Kokhba revolt against the Roman Empire approximately in the year 135 AD.