April 26 (UPI) — Archaeologists made a significant find at an ancient Roman temple site in north central Israel recently — a mother-of-pearl tablet scientists believe was part of a box that contained a biblical Hebrew scroll.
Experts believe the artifact, found at the ancient Roman city of Caesarea, is about 1,500 years old.
“A small tablet decorated with the shape of a menorah was found in a Persian layer inside inside the vaults here,” Ze’ev Margalit, director of conservation and development for the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority, said as Israel approaches its 69th anniversary of its independence on May 14.
“Possibly a gift for independence day,” he said. “We have the symbol of the State of Israel and a coal pan and a shofar, which represent for us the Jewish heritage over the years here.”
It is inscribed with a six-branched menorah, the Times of Israel reported Wednesday.
The item, believed to be the first made of the valuable material and branded with Jewish iconography, was found near the Augusteum Roman temple with other artifacts by Israel’s Antiquities Authority in a $27 million restoration project at Caesarea.
“We’re making new discoveries on a daily basis,” Israeli archaeologist Peter Gendelman said.
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