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2,000-Year-Old Apollo Seal Uncovered in Jerusalem

The discovery of a rare 2,000-year-old signet ring engraved with the Greek sun god Apollo gives new evidence of a pluralistic Jewry walking the streets of ancient Jerusalem during the Second Temple period, archaeologist Eli Shukron told The Times of Israel.

“It allows us to see a Jerusalem that wasn’t some kind of ultra-Orthodox city, it was more pluralistic,” Shukron said, who is convinced the ring would have adorned a Jew’s finger. The fact that a Jew chose the symbol of a Greek god, “shows the wide variety of practices in Jerusalem. Everyone was a Jew, but there were different groups and perspectives,” he said.

The dark brown jasper gem sealing (intaglio) was recently discovered at the Archaeological Sifting Project at Tzurim Valley National Park during the wet sifting of earth taken from the ongoing City of David excavations of the foundations of the Western Wall. (TOI / VFI News)