Roman gladius discovered in Jerusalem (Israel)
August 15th, 2011
Excavation directors Eli Shukron of the Israel Antiquities Authority and Professor Ronny Reich of the University of Haifa noted that “it seems that
the sword belonged to an infantryman of the Roman garrison stationed in Israel at the outbreak of the Great Revolt against the Romans in 66 CE.
The gladius’s fine state of preservation is surprising: not only israeli archaeologists made two important discoveries during excavations
of a drainage channel in the ancient City of Davidly its length (23.6 inches, 60 cm.), but also the preservation of the leather scabbard
(a material that generally disintegrates quickly over time) and some of its decoration,” the IAA statement said.
The sword is the third Roman one found in Jerusalem.
A stone object engraved with a picture of a menorah was found next to the channel. Researchers believe that the etching of the golden
seven-branched candelabrum may been carved by a visitor to the nearby temple, but later tossed aside. The carving confirms the original
design of the menorah's base: a tripod shape, Shukron and Reich said.
The ancient drainage channel begins in the Siloam Pool and runs from the City of David to the archaeological garden near the Western Wall.
The excavations are being conducted on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, in cooperation with the Nature and Parks Authority and
underwritten by the City of David Foundation.