Amethysts are mentioned in the Bible as one of the 12 precious stones worn by the high priest of the Temple on his ceremonial breastplate.
By World Israel News Staff
Archaeologists uncovered an ancient gold and amethyst ring during an excavation conducted in the city of Yavne. Amethysts are mentioned in the Bible as one of the 12 precious stones worn by the high priest of the Temple on his ceremonial breastplate.
The ring weighs 5.11 grams.
The excavation was carried out by the Israel Antiquities Authority, as part of the Israel Land Authority’s initiative to expand the city. Researchers are still debating the exact dating of the ring. It was found in a fill dating to the 7th century CE, but scholars said it could have been transmitted from generation to generation over the centuries due to its beauty and prestige.
According to Dr. Amir Golani, an expert on ancient jewelry at the Israel Antiquities Authority, “many virtues are attached” to the amethyst, including “the prevention of the side effect of drinking, the hangover.”
This is particularly noteworthy, because the ring was found at the site where the largest known winery was operating during the Byzantine period.
“Did the person who wore the ring want to avoid intoxication due to drinking a lot of wine? We probably will never know,” said Dr. Elie Haddad, the director of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority. “The ring was found just 150 meters from the remains of a long warehouse, which was used to store wine jars. Some of the jars were found upside down on their mouths and it may have been a warehouse full of empty jars before they were taken to the wine presses, to fill with wine.”
Golani said that such rings were worn by affluent men and women alike.
The researchers said that it is possible that the ring belonged to the elites who lived in the city as early as the 3rd century CE.
“It is possible that the splendid ring belonged to the owner of the magnificent warehouse, to a foreman, or simply to an unlucky visitor, who dropped and lost their precious ring, until it was finally discovered by us,” Haddad said.
“The small, everyday finds that are discovered in our excavations tell us human stories and connect us directly to the past, Israel Antiquities Authority director Eli Eskozido added. “It is exciting to imagine that the man or woman to whom the ring belonged, walking right here, in a different reality to what we know in today’s city of Yavne.”