(Yuli Schwartz/Israel Antiquities Authority) Yuli Schwartz/Israel Antiquities Authority
Yuli Schwartz/Israel Antiquities Authority


The family was given a certificate of appreciation.

By Pesach Benson, TPS

A family of five out for a walk in the Modi’in Hills of central Israel found a 1,500-year-old Byzantine-era candle holder on Saturday.

Doron Lavi and his family, residents of Yitzhar, south of Shechem (Nablus), said they noticed a small face, made of clay, “looking” at them from the ground.

Doron contacted the Israel Antiquities Authority, and archaeologist Issy Kornfeld came to collect the ‘photogenic’ find.

An examination of the object by Dr. Itamar Taksel, head of the Authority’s ceramic specialties branch, revealed that the Lavis found the decorative end of a candle handle from the Byzantine period 6th – 7th century CE.

According to Kornfeld, “Although this is not a rare find, the item is certainly handsome. The clay candles were used for lighting, and were a typical find for those periods, but not every candle had a handle, certainly not a designed one.”

The family was given a certificate of appreciation.

“We thank the Lavi family, who demonstrated good citizenship and handed over the beautiful item to the state’s treasures,” said Antiquities Authority director Eli Eskosido. He explained that heavy rains from a recent winter storm apparently softened the ground enough to bring the object to the surface.

“We call on the public to be vigilant, and if they come across an ancient find, to leave the find in its place and call the Antiquities Authority, to come to the area. The exact context in which the object is found provides valuable information for research,” Eskosido said.

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