Archaeologists in Israel has found artifacts that proved the Jewish connection to its land in the major port city during Roman-era, Caesarea. One of the artifacts is a mother-of-pearl tablet with the inscription of a menorah, a Jewish candelabra.
The archaeologist at the Israel Antiques Authority (IAA) Peter Gendelman said the 1,500 years old tablet was from the late Roman-Byzantine period during the 4th to 5th century CE. The findings proved the Jewish presence is still strong in the Caesarea during the Roman empire period. The archaeologists suggested the pearl menorah tablet was part of the structure that holds a Torah scroll.
The tablet was found near the temple dedicated to Augustus Caesar, built by King Herod in the 1st century CE. The excavation was funded by Rothschild Foundation, as reported by World Israel News. The discovery of the tablet in Caesarea was made in the early April, before the Pesach or Passover celebration.
Last Wednesday, April 26, the IAA announces the finding of the tablet along with other findings from the recent excavation in Caesarea. The archaeological excavation in Caesarea has been conducted since 1990's. For more than 30 years, archaeologists have found artifacts from the time of King Herod to the Crusade period in 1095-1291 CE.
"This enormous project has unprecedented archaeological significance," Vice chairman of the Rothschild Foundation, Guy Swersky said about the finding. "The ancient Jewish past, Rabbi Akiva and the Ten Martyrs, is revealed before our very eyes.”
Caesarea is now one of the major tourist attraction in Israel. Recently the city administration has received the commitment to develop the ancient city from the Rothschild Foundation, Caesarea Development Corporation, Antiquities Authority, and Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA). The joint project will allocate NIS 100 million ($27.5 million) to develop the ancient part of the city for tourist attraction as reported by Jerusalem Post.
The development will uncover the ancient city of Caesarea and renovate the old buildings, including a 2,000-year-old synagogue. Watch the report from the AFP regarding the recent archaeological artifacts found in Caesarea below: