Off the coast of Israel, researchers discovered a treasure trove in an ancient shipwreck near Caesarea.
Among the lost treasure was found a gold ring with a gemstone featuring a "Good Shepherd" carving of Jesus.
From the Facebook post of the group that found the ring:
"The spectacular items, were part of a cargo of two ships, which exploded off the shores of Caesarea during the Roman and royal period (about 1,700 years ago and about 600 years ago), and were revealed in a submarine survey of the Ancient Authority's marine archaeology in recent months."
The ship held jewelry and coins dating to the 3rd century Roman Empire. While Christianity was a growing religion in the area at that time it still wasn't the dominant religion, so finding a symbol of wealth like a gold ring with a Christian emblem is truly a rare find.
"Caesarea was the local capital of the Roman empire in the third century, and its port was a key hub for Rome's activity, according to Helena Sokolov, a curator at the IAA's coin department who researched the Good Shepherd ring.
Sokolov said that while the image exists in early Christian symbolism, representing Jesus as a caring shepherd, tending to his flock and guiding those in need, finding it on a ring was rare.
The presence of such a symbol on a ring probably owned by a Roman operating in or around Caesarea made sense, given the ethnically and religiously heterogenous nature of the port in the third century, when it was one of Christianity's earliest centers."
Other jewelry and coins were found in the shipwreck, but the most interesting was this symbol of Christianity.
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