Updated December 27th, 2023 at 17:55 IST

2 Israeli soldiers unearth 1500-year-old lamp near Gaza

Two Israeli reserve soldiers unexpectedly discovered a small, well-preserved Byzantine oil lamp at an army assembling area in southern Israel near Gaza.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Two Israeli reserve soldiers unexpectedly discovered a small, well-preserved Byzantine oil lamp at an army assembling area in southern Israel near Gaza. | Image:X-@AntiquitiesIL
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Two Israeli reserve soldiers unexpectedly discovered a small, well-preserved Byzantine oil lamp at an army assembling area in southern Israel near the Gaza border, as announced by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) on Tuesday. The discovery, made by Nathaniel Melchior and Alon Segev, members of the 404th Battalion within the 282nd Fire Brigade, triggered a chain of events that resulted in the safe handover of the 1,500-year-old candle to the Antiquities Authority.

 

Unexpected Discovery: Israeli Soldiers Unearth 1,500-Year-Old Lamp near Gaza

The IAA tweeted on social media and wrote, " Reserve soldiers discovered a 1500-year-old oil candle wrapped in a convention area! @idfonline. Nathaniel Melchior and Alon Segev, soldiers of the 404th Battalion of the 282nd Fire Brigade, discovered an ancient oil candle that was preserved intact, from the Byzantine period. They showed exemplary citizenship and returned the candle to the state treasures at the Antiquities Authority."

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Image: X

Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, the X user wrote, " Is there anything more Jewish than archaeological discoveries amid everything that is going on? Netanel Malkior and Alon Segev discovered this 1500-year-old oil lamp while stationed outside Gaza. They immediately contacted Israel's Antiquities Authority." The X user also shared that the photo was clicked by Sara Tal.

Byzantine oil lamp found by Israeli soldiers

"During one of our wanderings in the field, I came across pottery lying upside down, and its round shape attracted me," Melchior said, reported Times of Israel. Further, he added, "It was covered in mud, I cleaned it and after I realized what it was about, I called the Antiquities Authority."

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Simultaneously, Segev shared an image of the discovery on a Facebook group. The photo drew a lot of attention and recommendations to contact the Antiquities Authority. Antiquities Authority archaeologist Sarah Tal identified the artefact as a "sandal candle" from the Byzantine period. Tal personally retrieved the lamp and presented the soldiers with a certificate of appreciation.

"The war often exposes us to extraordinary situations, even on the archaeological front. The land of Israel, particularly this surrounding region, holds a rich history and ancient treasures," said Eli Eskosido, director of the Antiquities Authority. "In the event of finding an ancient relic, it is crucial to notify the inspectors so that researchers can gather as much information as possible about the site and its historical significance," he emphasized.

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Published December 27th, 2023 at 17:54 IST