Ancient Gold Ring With The Symbol Of The "Good Shepherd" Discovered

An ancient gold ring bearing the symbol of the "Good Shepherd", one of the earliest symbols of Christianity, was discovered on a ship that sunk during the Roman Empire.

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) unveiled on Wednesday hundreds of fascinating archaeological artifacts uncovered during underwater research in the Mediterranean Sea.

Among them is included, according to AFP, an ancient gold ring that remained underwater for 1,700 years and is engraved with the effigy of the "Good Shepherd", an allegory of Jesus.
Ancient Treasure Gold Ring Symbol The Good Shepherd
The objects were discovered in recent months in the Mediterranean Sea off the ancient port of Caesarea, between the Israeli cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa, where two boats sank 1,700 and 600 years ago.

Ancient Gold Ring With The "Good Shepherd" Symbol

Marine research has allowed archaeologists to discover the ancient gold ring, decorated with a unique green gemstone, which is engraved with the image of a young shepherd dressed in a tunic and carrying a sheep or ram on one of his shoulders.

Helena Sokolov, an Israel Antiquities Authority conservation specialist who has studied the ancient gold ring, says the image of the "Good Shepherd", which depicts Jesus Christ as a shepherd holding his sheep, rarely appears on a ring, although it is quite common in Christian art.

Judging by its small size, the ring probably belonged to a woman, the IAA expert added.

The "Good Shepherd" - A Symbol Of Early Christianity

The "Good Shepherd" is one of the earliest symbols used by Eastern Christian communities, one of the Israeli archaeologists said, adding that the ring dates from the mid-3rd century AD, Reuters reports.

In the New Testament Gospel of John, Jesus called himself the "Good Shepherd" who defends his flock of believers.
Ancient ring figure of the Good Shepherd discovered coast of Caesarea
The discovery of the ancient gold ring near Caesarea is a logical one, as that ancient city was once the local capital of the Roman Empire in the 3rd century AD and its main port, Helena Sokolov said.

"At that time, Christianity was in its infancy, but it was undoubtedly developing, especially in mixed cities like Caesarea," she added.

The New Testament describes the apostle Peter baptizing the Roman centurion Cornelius in Caesarea. This city was one of the earliest centers of Christianity and home to one of the world's first Christian communities.
Ancient Gold Ring The Symbol Of The "Good Shepherd"
The size of the ring means that it may have belonged to a woman AHMAD GHARABLI AFP

The Israel Antiquities Authority presented on Wednesday several hundred silver and bronze objects dating from the Roman era, as well as several hundred other objects dating from the 14th century, mainly from the Mamluk period.


A red gemstone was also discovered, as well as ceramic pots and several figurines.

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