Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologists have uncovered a two-thousand-year-old ring with a solitaire gemstone in excavations in the City of David National Park in Jerusalem.
The ring was found in what appeared to be a mikveh (ritual bath) on the pilgrimage road, which dates back to the Second Temple Period. The ancient paved road runs up from the Shiloach (Siloam) pool to the Temple Mount and is thought to have been the main thoroughfare taken by pilgrims to the Temple.
According to archaeologists Nachshon Zenton, Moran Hajabi, Ari Levy and Dr. Joe Uziel, “Just like today, it would appear that in the past, rings and jewellery were removed before bathing, and sometimes forgotten. This phenomenon, perhaps, is behind the discovery of the ring in what appears to be a ritual bath. This ring allows us to personally connect with an individual’s personal story from 2,000 years ago. The ring, along with other finds, can shed light and expose the lives of people during the Second Temple period,” said a City of David press release.
Doron Speilman, Vice President of the City of David Foundation which oversees the City of David National Park where the ring was found added: “It’s incredible to think that this beautiful ring sat at the bottom of a Mikveh on the ancient Pilgrimage Road for two thousand years, until it was uncovered by archaeologists in the City of David. It is yet another piece in the puzzle that is ancient Jerusalem.”
The City of David is situated to the south of the Temple Mount and outside of Jerusalem’s Old City walls. According to the Bible it is where King David established his Jerusalem capital more than 3,000 years ago. It remained the seat of the Davidic dynasty for centuries thereafter.