Two Israeli reserve soldiers made a surprising find near the Gaza border—a well-preserved 1500-year-old Byzantine oil lamp. Nathaniel Melchior and Alon Segev, part of the 404th Battalion, found the ancient artifact during their field exploration. Melchior noticed a round-shaped pottery covered in mud, cleaned it, and realized it was significant, prompting a call to the Antiquities Authority.
At the same time, Segev shared a picture of the discovery on a Facebook group, attracting attention and suggestions to contact the Antiquities Authority. Archaeologist Sarah Tal confirmed the artifact as a “sandal candle” from the Byzantine period. Tal retrieved the lamp and honored the soldiers with a certificate of appreciation.
Eli Eskosido, the director of the Antiquities Authority, highlighted the importance of reporting such discoveries, saying, “In the event of finding an ancient relic, it is crucial to notify the inspectors so that researchers can gather as much information as possible about the site and its historical significance.”