Archaeologists in Jerusalem have discovered a rare 2,000-year-old gem seal bearing the likeness of the god Apollo, but the gem’s owner likely wasn’t Greek or Roman, experts say.
Instead, this dark-brown jasper stone was likely owned by a Jewish person who lived during the first century A.D., and who was monotheistic but admired the qualities associated with Apollo, said Eli Shukron, an archaeologist with the Israel Antiquities Authority and a tour guide at the City of David archaeological park.
Shukron said there is absolutely no doubt that it is Apollo who is engraved on the tiny, oval-shaped, 13 millimeter-long, 11 millimeter-wide, and 3 millimeter-thick sealing.
It would usually have been used as a signature stamp on beeswax to seal contracts, letters, wills, and goods or bundles of money, according to a City of David press release.
Researchers note that Apollo, which is associate with divination, was one of the most revered gods of the time in Eastern Mediterranean regions.
Apollo is said to have been the most loved of all the Greek gods and stories say he was the son of Zeus and twin brother of Artemis.