Today, electricity flows in every house, and the use of candles is very rare and mainly used as an emergency solution during power outages or as a festive decoration for a birthday cake, or alternatively, on days of remembrance. In ancient times, when they wanted to light up the house at night, they would light candles, and thus they could continue their daily activities even after dusk.

In excavations at the Givati Parking Lot in the City of David, an ancient 1600 year old oil candle from the Roman era has been found. The candle has survived intact over the years (“innocent” in archaeological parlance), and is decorated with face masks and gryphons. A gryphon is a four-legged mythological animal with the head of a chicken, and is very similar to the Egyptian sphinx. The locals, who were idolaters, chose to decorate the oil candle with figures that were part of the pagan culture that was widespread at the time.

The oil candle had two holes, one for the wick and the other for pouring oil into the candle. If we look carefully, we can see ancient soot that has accumulated on the candle nozzle, evidence that the candle had been used in bygone days.