Monday, August 30, 2010

Cameo Stone Discovered in Jerusalem’s Central Valley

This Roman-period discovery appears to have been announced to heighten interest in the 11th Annual City of David Archaeology Conference to be held Wednesday on Jerusalem.  The Givati Parking Lot is located just south of the Dung Gate in the (now filled-in) Central Valley on the west side of the City of David.  From the Jerusalem Post:

A 2,000 year-old cameo stone bearing an image of cupid (Eros in Greek mythology) has been found in the Givati Parking Lot Excavation,  part of the Jerusalem Walls National Park.

The cameo, measuring 1cm in length and 0.7mm in width, was discovered during the excavation being conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority, funded by the Ir David Foundation. 

Dr. Doron Ben Ami of the Israel Antiquities Authority said:  “the cameo is made from two layers of semi-precious onyx stone. The upper layer, into which the image of cupid is engraved is a striking blue color which contrasts with the dark brown background color of the lower layer. The brown layer is the side of the cameo which would have been inserted into the round metal setting of a piece of jewelry, apparently an earring.

See the Jerusalem Post for the full report and Haaretz for a large photo.

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