The Israel Antiquities Authority reports that a rare and intriguing discovery was revealed over the Hanukkah weekend by hikers exploring a water cistern in the Judean hills: On the walls of the cistern, in chalk bedrock, were inscribed ancient engravings of a seven-branched menorah and a cross. Last weekend touring enthusiasts Mickey Barkal, Sefi Givoni, and Ido Meroz, who are members of the Israel Caving Club, went out to visit hidden caves in the Judean hills. According to

hiker Ido Meroz, “We heard there are interesting caves in the region. We began to peer into them, and that’s how we came to this cave, which is extremely impressive with rock-carved niches and engravings on the wall. Just before we were about to exit we suddenly noticed an engraving that at first glance seemed to be a menorah. When we realized this is an ancient depiction of a menorah, we became very excited. Its appearance was quite distinct. We left the cave and reported the discovery to the Israel Antiquities Authority.” READ MORE