Archeologists discover Menorah Symbol
Recent research has uncovered evidence for the use of the Jewish Menorah symbol motif on 1,300 year old Muslim coins and vessels dated to the Umayyad dynasty, the early days of the Islamic Khalifate, that also controlled Jerusalem (the 7th-8th centuries). These finds are now being exhibited to the public.
Last year, archaeologists Assaf Avraham (Bar-Ilan University) and Peretz Reuven (Hebrew University) exposed the Nuba inscription, an Early Islamic inscription which refers to the Dome of the Rock (the Golden Dome at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount) as ‘Beit al-Maqdis’, which implies that in the early days of Islam Muslims perceived this shrine as an Islamic version of the Temple of Solomon.
Now the scholars are exposing further finds which originate from various sites in Israel that constitute evidence of Jewish-Muslim influences in the early days of Islam. These finds express an inter-religious dialogue that existed between Jews and Muslim at the time.
The Jewish symbol which the Muslims were using was the Menorah (the Gold Seven Branch Candelabra from the Temple), that appeared on several coins and other early Islamic artifacts. The Menorah coins bear the Shahada Arabic inscription on one side: “There is no god but Allah” while the Menorah appears in the center of the coin. The other side bears the inscription: “Muhammed (is the) Messenger of God”.
In addition to the coins, the archaeologists have found several pottery and lead vessels that utilized the Menorah symbol in their design. Discovered in various sites around Israel, the vessels date to the early days of the Islamic Khalifate and were in use by Muslims.
These finds are of great importance for understanding the history of Islam and are of great importance to Islamic history research. The archeologists are launching a new informational project to expose this information to the world in the hope that this will promote educational dialogue between Jews and Muslims.