Thursday, January 12, 2012

Byzantine Stamp with the Temple Menorah discovered in Israel

A 1,500 year old seal bearing an image of the seven-branched Temple Menorah was discovered near the Israeli city of Acre/Akko.

A ceramic stamp from the Byzantine period (6th century CE) was discovered in excavations the Israel Antiquities Authority is currently conducting at Horbat Uza east of Acre, prior to the construction of the Akko-Karmiel railroad track by the Israel National Roads Company. This find belongs to a group of stamps referred to as “bread stamps” because they were usually used to stamp baked goods.

According to Gilad Jaffe and Dr. Danny Syon, the directors of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “A number of stamps bearing an image of a menorah are known from different collections. The Temple Menorah, being a Jewish symbol par excellence, indicates the stamps belonged to Jews, unlike Christian bread stamps with the cross pattern which were much more common in the Byzantine period”.

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