Israel Museum

The Temple Menorah appears in the fragment of a first-century graffito etched in plaster found in excavations in Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter merely a few hundred feet from the Temple Mount. It is one of the earliest depictions of the candelabra that illuminated the Jewish Temple. The seven-branched Menorah rests on a triangular base, unlike its depiction on the Arch of Titus. The incomplete etchings to the right (here reconstructed) are usually interpreted as being part of the Showbread table and the altar. The juxtaposition of the Menorah and the table mirrors their description in Exodus 25, and is likely based on their relationship to one another in the Temple. The graffito was probably carved by someone familiar with the items, but for reasons unknown.