An archaeological find from Jerusalem offers insights into life in the region 2,300 years ago and shows the Hellenistic influence of the time. This can be traced back to a specific king.

During excavations in Jerusalem, a gold ring with red garnet stone that was around 2,300 years old was found. The ring apparently belonged to a child and came from the Hellenistic period in the region, the Israel Antiquities Authority said on Monday (May 27). Because of the high durability of gold, no signs of wear can be seen on the piece of jewelry. 

The ring fell into the hands of an excavation employee while she was sifting earth. “Suddenly I saw something glittering,” she reported. “I immediately shouted: I found a ring!” The entire team was very excited. “It’s a very moving find, you don’t find something like that every day.”

Because of its small size, researchers assumed the ring belonged to a boy or girl. Otherwise it only fits on a woman’s little finger. The piece of jewelry was made by fixing thin gold leaves onto a metal base with a hammer.

Stylistically, the ring fits the Persian and early Hellenistic era, from the late 4th to the early 3rd century BC. “During that time, people began to prefer gold with stones set over decorated gold,” the statement said. Gold jewelry was said to have been very common in the Hellenistic world since the reign of Alexander the Great. “His conquests helped spread and transport luxury goods and products.” 

Alexander the Great was born in 356 BC. He was king of Macedonia from 336 until his death in 323 BC. With his accession to power, the age of Hellenism began. Alexander systematically expanded his empire through military campaigns. The area of ​​what was then Palestine – where modern Israel is located today – also became part of his empire. The residents of Jerusalem at the time were apparently “open to the widespread Hellenistic style,” according to the researchers. 

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