Friday, September 3, 2010

And Now, Something For the Ladies

Israeli authorities have announced the discovery of a cameo bearing the image of cupid. The press release gives these details:

Israeli archaeologists have unveiled a 2,000-year-old semi-precious cameo bearing the image of Cupid from the City of David.

The Israel Antiquities Authorities (IAA) said the item was among several that were found in the archaeological area in Jerusalem's Old City in the last 12 months.

The cameo, which will be displayed at the 11th Annual City of David Archaeology Conference scheduled to take place later this week, is 1 cm in length and 0.7 cm in width.

It was discovered in the Givati Parking Lot Excavation, a part of the Jerusalem Walls National Park.

The excavation was conducted by the organization under the direction of Dr. Doron Ben Ami and Yana Tchekhanovets and funded by the Ir David Foundation.

"The cameo was made from two layers of semi-precious onyx stone. The upper layer, into which the image of cupid is engraved is a striking blue colour which contrasts with the dark brown background colour of the lower layer," quoted Dr. Doron Ben Ami, of the IAA, as saying.

"The brown layer is the side of the cameo which would have been inserted into the round metal setting of a piece of jewellery, apparently an earring.

"Cupid's left hand is resting on an upside-down torch which symbolizes the cessation of life.

"The discovery, together with other important finds that we uncovered from this unusual large Roman structure at the City of David, contribute significantly to our understanding of the nature of Jerusalem's Roman Period," Ben Ami added.

The IAA statement added that the inlaid stone was of the "Eros in mourning" type, one of a group of visual motifs linked with the imagery of mourning practices. (ANI)

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