Today here in Israel is Tisha B'Av – the day commemorating the destruction of the two Jewish Temples in Jerusalem.
You will recall that the second Temple was destroyed by the Romans a few years after Christ's Ascension into Heaven.
The Israel Antiquities Authority has released a notice that they obviously kept for this important day – and that is a discovery of a Roman sword in it's leather scabbard that belonged to a soldier and an engraving of (what may be the Temple's menorah – the branched candelabrum on a small stone object.
The Israel Antiquities Authority discovered the objects during the course of it's work in Jerusalem's ancient drainage channel, which begins in the Siloam Pool and runs to the archaeological garden located near the Western Wall.
One piece is a 2,000 year old iron sword still in its leather scabbard.
The sword's state of preservation is surprising for two reasons; for it's length (c. 60 cm or 24 inches), but also the preservation of the leather scabbard. Leather generally disintegrates quickly over time and some of it's decoration can still be seen.
The stone object is a lot smaller but bears significance. It too has two reasons for notability; first, it is the closest find of a depiction of a menorah to where the original tangible objects once stood.
Secondly, even though it is a depiction of the seven-branched candelabrum, only five branches appear here. The portrayal of the menorah's base is extremely important because it could be interpreted by some to present what the base of the original menorah looked like.
These are two powerful symbols of time passed that collided in this spot.
And on this day of memorial – they are poignant reminders from man of old that can teach us a lesson from the past… if we will listen.
Middle East Correspondent