The tradition of burning incense away from the temple has its origin in the reign of Antiochus. Antiochus wanted to unify worship across his dominions so that everyone should only offer sacrifice of animals. This was in agreement with his friends, the Jewish priests who were at loggerheads with the prophets. Antiochus's command to Mattathias was to not offer burning of incense. "Worship of God" (Ant.12.6.2) was what the prophets did in the sanctuary at the altar of incense. This altar was removed by Antiochus with the co-operation of the priests. The prophets having lost their altar in the sanctuary, resorted to burning incense in every town of Judea on temporary altars - they refused to give up the "worship of God". The propaganda of 1 Maccabees 1.54 calls them idol altars which were supposedly established by Antiochus's forces. They were altars of incense, not idol altars.
In Mac. 1:54, who was offering incense at the doors of houses, throughout the towns of Judea, if it wasn't Jews? Isn't this like the Jews watching the burning of incense at the opening of the sanctuary, during a festival. They were also offering incense in the streets. You have to credit these people with an advanced sense of God's presence everywhere.
There were supposed to be no Jews living in Magdala until the end of the second century BCE. Antiochus's persecution began in approximately 167 BCE. This led to many Jews being scattered. The current migrant crisis is a reminder of what persecuted communities do. There is every possibility that a Jewish community established itself in Magdala shortly after 167 BCE. Mattathias taught his people to defend themselves, whereas they had been reluctant to do so.
The stone was easily transportable. A rough estimate from drawings is that the stone has dimensions of about 50 x 50 cm at the top and a height of 40 cm. Such a stone could have been made well before the synagogue was built and brought from elsewhere. Also it could have been hidden easily from Antiochus's troops. They had, in effect, a portable sanctuary - an altar with all the markings that represented the sanctuary.
The Magdala stone was all about the sanctuary, not the Temple as a whole. The symbols on the stone show no connection with animal sacrifices. Animals were sacrificed outsite the sanctuary. The relation between the symbols and the sanctuary proper is very strong. Some scholars
think that the stone was an altar of incense. Was it one of the "idol" altars of 1 Maccabees?
At the top are two palm trees. The side views represent the curtains of the sanctuary,
They divide the sanctuary into its two compartments, the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. The two circular objects which I take are at one end of the Holy Place. If they are at one end of the Holy Place (it is difficult to tell from drawings at which end of the stone these circular shapes are) then I have to assume they were something to do with the sanctuary worship. Given the serious symbolism on the stone I doubt that the two circles were symbolic of the more mundane rings for transportation.
1 Mac. 1:56 following on has: "All scrolls of the law which were found were torn up and burnt." This further propaganda would have us believe that Antiochus's forces did this. I suggest that Antiochus's forces were not responsible for tearing up the books of the law. Mattathias's community were the culprits. This was a final break-up of the Jewish nation into two parties, essentially the priests and the prophets. The priests mocked and scorned the prophets greatly in their peshers of the Scrolls. Mattathias's community reacted, came to reject the law, and tore up the scrolls of
the law, basically the Pentateuch.
The priests had approached Antiochus for his help in putting down the prophetic community who they regarded as "seekers of smooth things". The priests with Antiochus's troops put to death women their babies and their families. The propaganda has it for fulfilling the law. They welcomed death. Does this remind you of Josephus's "Essenes". Essenes do not exist anywhere in the Scrolls. In Josephus they have been interpolated artificially back in time.