IDF reservists discover 1,500-year-old oil lamp near Gaza border

The soldiers handed over the ancient find, a “sandal candle” from the Byzantine period, to the Israel Antiquities Authority.

By Israel Today Staff | | Topics: archaeology
Photo: Sara Tal/IAA

In a remarkable find, IDF reservists have discovered an approximately 1,500-year-old Byzantine-era oil lamp near the Gaza border.

Reservists Netanel Melchior and Alon Segev from the 404th Battalion, 282nd Artillery Brigade were on patrol when they came across the well-preserved lamp. Melchior found the lamp, which at first glance looked like an upside-down piece of ceramic. After cleaning it and realizing what it was, he contacted the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).

The two reservists with their find. Photo: Sara Tal/IAA

The lamp known as the “sandal candle” dates back to the Byzantine period and is around 1,500 years old. Archaeologist Sara Tal from the Israel Antiquities Authority examined and recovered the item. The authorities honored the soldiers with a certificate for their exemplary civic commitment.

Eli Escusido, Director General of the Israel Antiquities Authority, emphasized the significance of the find and the historical relevance of the border area. It is rich in history and ancient finds, and the Antiquities Authority is working with the IDF to keep the finds safe even in the midst of war.

He praised the soldiers’ vigilance and recalled that it was important to leave the ancient finds in their original location and inform the authority so that archaeologists can extract as much information as possible from the site.

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