Roman-Era ‘Good Shepherd’ Gold Ring Found in Ancient Shipwreck off Israel

Israeli researchers found a Roman-era gold ring bearing an early Christian symbol for Jesus among a treasure trove in a shipwreck off the Mediterranean coast.

In a statement on Facebook, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced on Dec. 22 that archeologists found a thick, octagonal gold ring with a green gemstone carved with the image of the “Good Shepherd,” which symbolized Jesus in Christianity.

“This unique gold ring bearing the ‘Good Shepherd’ figure gives us, possibly, an indication that its owner was an early Christian,” the Authority said, describing it as an “exquisite and rare find.”

Helena Sokolov told AFP News that the size of the wrong implied that it may had belonged to a woman.

Archeologists discovered the ring, along with other treasures, in recent months from two ancient ships that sank in different time periods near the port of Caesarea, which was one of the earliest centers of Christianity.

The other treasures, which the Authority said were scattered in shallow water at a depth of about four meters, include a ring set with a red gemstone carved with a lyre, a figure of a Roman pantomimus in a comic mask, and a bronze figure in the form of an eagle that symbolized Roman rule.

Researchers also recovered numerous bronze bells used to ward off evil spirits, hundreds of silver and bronze Roman coins from the mid-third century CE, and a large hoard of silver coins from the Mamluk period in the 14th century.

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