Ancient Menorah Etching in Pearl Proves Jewish Presence in Caesarea 1,500 Years Ago

“And there shall be six branches going out of the sides thereof: three branches of the candlestick out of the one side thereof, and three branches of the candle-stick out of the other side thereof.” Exodus 25:32 (The Israel Bible™)

Israeli archaeologists announced Wednesday the discovery of a 1,500-year-old mother-of-pearl tablet etched with a menorah in the ancient town of Caesarea.

According to Israel Antiques Authority archaeologist Peter Gendelman, the tablet, dating back to the late Roman-Byzantine period of the 4th or 5th centuries A.D., “points to clear Jewish presence at Caesarea during this period.”

Archaeologists speculate that the pearl menorah tablet was likely part of a structure used to hold a Torah scroll. The slab was uncovered near the temple devoted to Augustus Caesar, constructed by King Herod in the 1st century B.C.

Menorah of old replica necklace, from the City of David. Buy Now!

The discovery was made in early April, a few days before Passover, and was publicized as part of a press conference Wednesday regarding a new $30 million renovation project in Caesarea.

The artifact is the first archaeological discovery of its kind made from mother-of-pearl, a smooth and shiny substance forming the inner layer of the shell of some mollusks.