Finnley MacDonald/Black Sea Project

Symbols of a common tradition. Seven-branched menorahs are reminiscent of the lamp that lit the Jerusalem Temple; in antiquity, they were depicted not only in the Land of Israel, but also throughout the Diaspora. In 1956, V. V. Borisova, while excavating a cemetery, found an upside-down menorah in secondary use in the wall of an early Roman Period cistern; around the cistern were materials from the late Hellenistic Period (second century B.C.E. to the early first century C.E.), to which this menorah probably dates. This may be the earliest menorah found anywhere in the Disapora.