Archaeologists have discovered a Roman-era gold ring with an image used by early Christians to symbolise Jesus near Israel’s Mediterranean coast.
The ring was set with a green gemstone etched with the figure of a shepherd kid holding a sheep on his shoulders, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Jesus refers to himself as the “Good Shepherd” in the Bible.
The ring was recovered alongside a variety of other objects in two shipwrecks in Caesarea.
Hundreds of silver and bronze Roman coinage from the mid-3rd century, as well as a vast hoard of silver coins from the Mamluk period in the early 14th century, are among the other riches.
A ring set with a red gem engraved with a lyre, as well as Roman-era figures in the form of an eagle and a scene actor in a humour mask, bronze bells planned to ward off evil spirits, and a ring set with a red gemstone engraved with a lyre was discovered by archaeologists.
The remains of the ships’ hulls and cargoes were discovered dispersed on the seafloor at a depth of around 4 metres, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority (13ft).
“The ships were undoubtedly anchored nearby and were smashed by a storm,” stated IAA Marine Archaeology Unit member Jacob Sharvit.
Caesarea was home to one of the earliest Christian communities, and it was here that the apostle Peter baptised the Roman centurion Cornelius, according to the New Testament.
Mr Sharvit remarked, “This was the first time a non-Jew was admitted into the Christian society.” “It was from here that the Christian religion spread over the world.”