In Jerusalem for the first time will show a coin with the oldest image of the temple menorah
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An ancient coin featuring the oldest known image of the temple menorah will be presented to the public for the first time on Monday, March 13, at the opening of the recently renovated Davidson Center in Jerusalem's Old City.
The coin dates from about 40 BC, during the Roman Empire and the reign of the last Hasmonean king. “This is the oldest known artistic representation of the menorah, created 107 years before the destruction of the Second Temple”, — says Dr. Yuval Baruch, head of archeology and administration at the Israel Antiquities Authority.
The coin was donated to Israel sometime in the 1940s, during the British Mandate, and it is not clear where or when it was found.
The coin is part of an exhibition of rare artifacts that contain the earliest knowledge of the origin of the temple menorah, a seven-branch candelabra that is also used as a symbol of the modern State of Israel. Next to the coin is the Magdala Stone, found in the city of Migdal in 2009 and was probably a Torah reading table from a 1st century synagogue. An elaborately carved stone depicts several menorahs, as well as a possible image of the Jerusalem Temple.
Also on display for the first time is a piece of plaster from the tomb of Jason, a rock-cut tomb from the Second Temple period located in the Rehavia neighborhood of Jerusalem. Five menorahs are carved into the plaster, which were discovered in the 1950s during excavations of the tomb before the construction of a residential building.
These three pieces have been selected as the centerpiece of the Davidson Center, which will open to the public on Monday, March 13 after a three-year renovation. A multi-million dollar major renovation has doubled the size of the museum and visitor center, located in the Jerusalem Archaeological Park in the Old City.
The new visitor center will combine archaeological finds with interactive technology to help visitors discover what life was like during the First and Second Temple periods.
“Over the centuries, people have found ways to tell stories, and that's great for a human, — said Darin McKeever, president and chief executive officer of the Davidson Foundation, which funds the center. , he said.
Exhibits at the entrance to the Davidson Center will be devoted to the name “Jerusalem”; and include some of the earliest known inscriptions with the ancient Hebrew name for Jerusalem “yršlm”.
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