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Roman gladius discovered in Jerusalem (Israel)
August 15th, 2011

Israeli archaeologists of the Israel Antiquities Authority, in cooperation with the Nature and Parks Authority and the City of David Foundation, made two important discoveries during excavations of a drainage channel in the ancient City of David including a Roman gladius from the time of the destruction of the second Jewish temple in 70 AD and an engraving of a Menorah on a piece of stone dating from 66 AD.
The finds, which were announced by the Israel Antiquities Authority, show that the drainage channel, which begins in the Siloam Pool and runs from the City of David to the archaeological garden (near the Western Wall), served as a hiding refuge for the residents of Jerusalem during the Roman siege of the second temple built by King Herod, the IAA said in a statement.

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 gladiuss 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.

The Roman Gladius discovered. Photo courtesy of IAA (Clara Amit)

 

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