A Hellenistic era 2,000-year-old golden earring featuring ornamentation of a horned animal was discovered in Jerusalem, Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said on Wednesday.
The earring was discovered in the City of David National Park encircling the old city walls. The discovery was made during archaeological digs carried out by the IAA and Tel Aviv University located in the center of Israel.
The jewelry was found inside a building that was unearthed during the excavation dating to the early Hellenistic period about which very little was known about Jerusalem. Similar earrings have been found across the Mediterranean basin, especially in Greece, but are extremely rare in Israel.
The earring bears the head of a horned animal, possibly an antelope or deer, with large eyes, a mouth and other facial features. Nearby, excavators also found a gold bead with intricate embroidered ornamentation resembling a thin rope pattern, dividing the beads into two parts with six spirals on each side.
According to the archaeologists, it is unclear whether the earring was worn by a man or a woman, but surely belonged to an upper class person. This can be determined by the proximity to the Temple Mount and the Temple, which was functional at the time, as well as the quality of the ring.
The jewelry was crafted using a technique called filigree in which threads and tiny metal beads are used to create delicate and complex patterns. The earring will be displayed for public at the City of David’s annual archeological conference on Sept. 4.
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