Wednesday, June 5, 2024
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Ancient Gold Ring Discovered in Jerusalem’s City of David

Archaeologists in Jerusalem’s City of David have unearthed a rare 2,300-year-old gold ring, believed to have been worn by a child during the Hellenistic period. The discovery, made by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) and Tel Aviv University (TAU), is part of the Jerusalem Walls National Park project, supported by the Elad Foundation.

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The gold ring, set with a red garnet, was found remarkably well-preserved, free from rust or weathering. “It is an unusual and deeply moving find; not one that we discover every day,” stated the archaeological team. The ring, discovered by Tehiya Gangate while sifting earth, caused great excitement among the team. “This is an emotionally moving find. I always wanted to find gold jewelry, and I am very happy this dream came true,” said Gangate.

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IAA excavation directors Dr. Yiftah Shalev and Riki Zalut Har-tov noted the ring’s small size, suggesting it might have fit a woman’s pinkie or a child’s finger. Dr. Marion Zindel explained that the ring was crafted by hammering thin gold leaves onto a metal base, a style prevalent from the late Fourth to early Third-century BCE.

The discovery of this ring adds to other early Hellenistic period ornaments found in the City of David, such as a horned-animal earring and a decorated gold bead. TAU Prof. Yuval Gadot and excavator Efrat Bocher highlighted that these finds indicate a prosperous and elite status for Jerusalem’s inhabitants during this period, contrasting previous assumptions of the city’s modest resources and size.

The ongoing excavations at the Givati parking lot reveal an entire neighborhood, suggesting a larger and more economically vibrant city than previously thought. “The structures and gold finds display the city’s healthy economy and elite status, showing openness to the Hellenistic influences prevalent in the eastern Mediterranean Basin,” stated Gadot and Bocher.

IAA director Eli Escuzido emphasized the significance of these discoveries for understanding Jerusalem’s past. In celebration of Jerusalem Day, the public is invited to a free event on June 5 at the IAA’s Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein National Campus, where the gold ring will be displayed for the first time at the “Jerusalem Mysteries – the Archaeology of Jerusalem” conference. More details can be found on the Israel Antiquities Authority website.

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Alice
Alice
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