Parting gifts – brooch, earring, and signet ring

UnknownRoman period, 220 CE - Roman period, 250 CE

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Jerusalem, Israel

A lead coffin was discovered in a hewn grave in Jerusalem, decorated with geometric patterns and motifs from classical mythology. Resting upon it were spectacular jewelry pieces, including an earring and a brooch bearing the image of Athena armed with a helmet and shield and a ring carved with an armored gladiatorial elephant. The iconography and high quality of these items indicates that they likely belonged to a Roman legionnaire – one who served and died in Jerusalem – and his wife. Some of them were apparently torn from the clothing or bodies of the mourners as part of the burial service.


  • Title: Parting gifts – brooch, earring, and signet ring
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: Roman period, 220 CE - Roman period, 250 CE
  • Location: Nahal Raqafot, Jerusalem
  • Type: Jewelry
  • Rights: Israel Antiquities Authority
  • External Link: Israel Museum, Jerusalem
  • Medium: Gold, blue-black onyx, garnet, and pearl
  • Dimensions: H. 1.7, L. 2.5; H. 5.5, L. 3; H. 5.5, L. 4.4 cm
  • Curator: Mevorah, David

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