Earring hints at Greek rule in Jerusalem

Reuters
A gold earring believed to date back more than 2,000 years has been unearthed near the site of ancient Jewish temples in Jerusalem.
Reuters
AFP

Israeli archeologists work yesterday at the dig site in East Jerusalem where a rare golden earring believed to be more than 2,000 years old was discovered.

AFP

An Israeli archeologist shows the spectacular gold earring, shaped like a horned animal. 

A gold earring believed to date back more than 2,000 years has been unearthed near the site of ancient Jewish temples in Jerusalem, in what Israeli archeologists called evidence of Hellenistic influence.

The 4-centimeter-long filigree hoop with a ram’s head mould was discovered during excavations outside Jerusalem’s walled Old City. The dig is around 200 meters south of the Temple Mount, which today houses al Aqsa mosque and is known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.

The Israel Antiquities Authority said the trinket’s crafting was consistent with jewelry from the early Hellenistic period — the third or early second-century BC, roughly between Jerusalem’s conquest by Alexander the Great and the Jewish revolt against pagan rule recounted in the biblical Books of the Maccabees.

“This is the first time somebody finds a golden earring from the Hellenistic times in Jerusalem,” said Yuval Gadot, a Tel Aviv University archeology professor involved in the find.

Such jewelry might have been worn by wealthy men or women, at the time, and its owner would probably have been either a Greek living in Jerusalem or a local “Hellenized Jew,” he said.

“We connect it to other things and maybe we will have a better understanding of Jerusalem — not just the text but how people really behaved here,” Gadot said.

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