Two archaeological discoveries with highly symbolic value dating back to the ancient Jewish kingdoms of Israel were revealed just before the start of Chanukah.

Israeli archaeologists earlier this month disclosed the discovery of an ancient inscription of a seven-branched menorah on a large stone slab in the northern Israeli city of Tiberias.

According to archaeologists, the basalt block that features the engraving was originally used as a door to a Jewish tomb between the 2nd and 4th centuries B.C.E.

The menorah-engraved stone was later used as the foundation for a pillar in a mosque, and then as a step in a Crusader-era sugar refinery.

“The stone is engraved in splendor with a seven-branched menorah,” said Dr. Katia Cytryn-Silverman of Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Institute of Archaeology, who oversaw the excavation.

Additionally, the Israel Antiquities Authority revealed the discovery of an ancient clay lamp dating back 2,200 years to the time when Judah Maccabee fought the Greek ruler Antiochus Epiphanes.

A mother and her 7-year-old daughter found the lamp during a hike in Israel’s Beit She’an Valley. According to archaeologists, the lamp’s discovery proves the existence of the valley during the Hellenistic period. JN

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