‘Good Shepherd’ Gold Ring Found in Roman-Era Shipwrecks Off Ancient Port of Caesarea

A gold ring with its gemstone showing an image of young Jesus holding a lamb on his back, a scene known as the ‘Good Shepherd’ in Christianity, is one of several stunning artifacts found off the coast of Israel

Israeli researchers on Wednesday displayed a Roman-era golden ring with an early Christian symbol for Jesus inscribed in its gemstone, found in a shipwreck off the ancient port of Caesarea.

The thick octagonal gold ring with its green gemstone bore the figure of the “Good Shepherd” in the form of a young shepherd boy in a tunic with a ram or sheep across his shoulders.

The ring was found among a trove of third-century Roman coins, as well as a bronze eagle figurine, bells to ward off evil spirits, pottery, and a Roman pantomimus figurine in a comic mask, the Israel Antiquities Authority said in a statement.

A red gemstone with a carving of a lyre was also found in the relatively shallow waters, as well as remains of the wooden hull of the ship, the authority said.

Caesarea was the local capital of the Roman empire in the third century, and its port was a key hub for Rome’s activity, according to Helena Sokolov, a curator at the IAA’s coin department who researched the Good Shepherd ring.

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SOURCE: AFP, France24