Courtesy Israel Antiquities Authority

TORAH TABLE? This roughly 3-foot-long engraved stone with an early depiction of a seven-branched menorah (facing panel) was discovered in the central hall of the Magdala synagogue. The stone may have served as a table on which Torah scrolls were rolled out.

The Magdala synagogue is dated to the first century C.E. or earlier, making it one of the oldest synagogues ever found. It was in use while the Jerusalem Temple still stood. Its halls may have welcomed some of Jesus’ earliest followers, including Mary Magdalene.