The fascinating discovery of a gold ring from Roman times with an image of Jesus Christ as “the good shepherd”

The gold ring was described by the Israel Antiquities Authority as an “exquisite and rare find.”

Photo: REUTERS / copyright

“Exquisite and rare.”

This is how the Israel Antiquities Authority described a gold ring from the Roman era with an image used by the first Christians to symbolize Jesus and that was found by archaeologists off the Mediterranean coast of Israel.

The agency said the jewel has a green gemstone carved with the figure of a shepherd carrying a sheep on his shoulders.

In the Bible, Jesus describes himself as the “Good Shepherd”.

The ring was one of the items discovered in two shipwrecks near the ancient port of Caesarea.

Marine archaeologist finds gold ring in Mediterranean Sea off Israel coast

Israel Antiquities Authority
Shipments from the ships and the remains of their shattered hulls were found scattered in shallow waters.

The other treasures include hundreds of Roman silver and bronze coins from the middle of the third century and a large shipment of silver coins from the beginning of the fourteenth century.

Archaeologists also found figures from Roman times in the shape of an eagle and a theater actor with a comic mask; bronze bells designed to ward off evil spirits and a ring with a red gemstone carved with a lyre.

The Israel Antiquities Authority said the remains of the ships’ hulls and their cargoes were found scattered on the seabed at a depth of about 4 meters.

Ancient Roman coins found in a shipwreck in the Mediterranean Sea are on display in the laboratories of the Israel Antiquities Authority in Jerusalem (December 22, 2021)

The hoard includes hundreds of 3rd century Roman silver and bronze coins.
A Roman-era figure of a theater artist with a comic mask and other artifacts.

A figure with a comic mask was also found.

“The ships were probably anchored nearby and were destroyed by a storm,” said Jacob Sharvit of the agency’s Marine Archeology Unit.

Caesarea was home to one of the earliest Christian communities and, according to the New Testament, it was where the Apostle Peter baptized Cornelius the Centurion, the first Gentile (not Jewish, pagan, or foreigner) to be converted to the Christian faith.

“This was the first case in which a non-Jew was accepted into the Christian community,” Sharvit explained. “From here, the Christian religion began to spread throughout the world.”

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