Personal communication from Professor Mazar, to whom I wish to express my thanks for the material on this ring and for his helpful comments.


Additional examples of Byzantine artifacts with depictions of “sacred structures”:

• A sixth- to seventh-century gold ring, found near Milan, now in the British Museum. The hoop that encircles the finger is ornamented with applied wire. There is a high, projecting bezel in the form of a square structure with pyramidal roof, the walls of the structure are pierced with rounded arches. The sides of the roof are ornamented with groups of pellets arranged in triangles; a raised setting at the top is now empty. The ring is either Ostrogothic or Lombardic. See O. M. Dalton, Catalogue for Finger-Rings, Early Christian, Byzantine, Teutonic, Medieval and Later (London, 1912), p. 27, no. 174.

• Many of the Monza ampullae and some of the Bobbia ampullae. All of these ampullae are from Jerusalem. They date from the Byzantine period and depict the Anastasis—the domed structure—over Jesus’ tomb. See A. Grabar, Les Ampoules des Terre Sainte (Paris, 1958).

• For two other ivory plaques of this period, see Grabar, Martyrium—Recherches sur le culte des reliques et l’art Chrétien antique (London, 1972), Vol. 2, Pl. XVI, nos. I and 3. These identical plaques depict the “Holy Women at the Tomb,” C.400. No. 1 is located in the British Museum. No. 3 is from Milan Civico Museo d’Arte, Castello Sforzesco.


It is interesting to note, however, that the structure on the rings is square; on all the other depictions it is round. Did the artisan who crafted the ring make it square because of the type of material he employed?


For additional information, see Yaakov Meshorer, Ancient Jewish Coinage, volume 2 (New York, 1982), pp. 29–30.


Yoram Tzafrir, Eretz Israel from the Destruction of the Second Temple to the Muslim Conquest, Vol. 2, “Archaeology and Art” (in Hebrew) Jerusalem: Yad Itzhak Ben Zvi Publications, 1984), p. 447.


Personal communication from Professor Mazar.