Byzantine Era golden treasures uncovered at the foot of the Temple Mount

F130909FF01Israeli archaeologist Eilat Mazar showing an ancient medallion dated to the late Byzantine period (early seventh century CE) with a shofar (ram’s horn) and a Torah scroll ornament, September 9, 2013. The treasure was discovered in recent Jerusalem excavations near the Temple Mount southern wall, by members of the Hebrew University Institute of Archaeology. Photo Credit: Flash90 Dr. Mazar estimates the treasure was abandoned during the Persian conquest of Jerusalem, in 614 CE.

By: Aryeh Savir, Tazpit News Agency

During excavations at the foot of the Temple Mount which were conducted this summer, Jerusalem Hebrew University archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar discovered two bundles of a treasure containing thirty-six gold coins, gold and silver jewelry, and a gold medallion with the menorah (Temple candelabrum) symbol etched into it. Also etched into the 10-cm medallion are a shofar (ram’s horn) and a Torah scroll.

Mazar, a third-generation archaeologist working at the Hebrew University’s Institute of Archaeology, directs excavations on the City of David’s summit and at the Temple Mount’s southern wall, the Ophel area. Calling the find “a breathtaking, once-in-a-lifetime discovery,” Dr. Mazar said: “We have been making significant finds from the First Temple Period in this area, a much earlier time in Jerusalem’s history, so discovering a golden seven-branched Menorah from the seventh century CE at the foot of the Temple Mount was a complete surprise.”

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