Tuesday, December 08, 2020

More menorah graffiti in a priestly (?) cave

ICONOGRAPHY AND EPIGRAPHY: Rare Second Temple menorah drawing from biblical Maccabean site brought to light. Hitherto unpublished 2,000-year-old engraved menorah, forgotten in archives for 40 years, shores up hypothesis that ancient Michmas was a priestly settlement, study says (Amanda Borschel-Dan, Times of Israel). As usual, Amanda digs deeper than the earlier media reports and provides lots of background and additional information.

Two new points. First, the menorah engraving itself has not been relocated. The articles and reports are based on photographs. The engraving may be gone now.

Second is the mention of another quite important rediscovery:

This newly rediscovered menorah and mysterious letter join another 1980s find of a hideaway cave, in the nearby el-’Aliliyat region. There, archaeologists discovered a mikveh (ritual bath), a cistern, and two menorahs drawn with a charcoaled stick, one crowned by an Aramaic/Hebrew inscription.
Dr. Dvir Raviv and an archaeological team have revisited the cave. There are two photographs.

Cross-file under Aramaic Watch and Hanukkah is Coming. Background here.

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