Clara Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

A PEARL OF GREAT PRICE. A gold earring inlaid with pearls and emeralds recovered in the Givati Parking Lot is a masterpiece of craftsmanship: A large pearl is enclosed in a coiled gold hoop from which dangle two pendants, each adorned with a gold-encircled emerald and a pearl. While found in a later Byzantine building, the earring itself is dated to the Roman period and is similar to those depicted in the Fayum portraits from Egypt—also from the Roman period—which show women wearing gold necklaces and earrings decorated with emeralds and pearls. Could this have been Queen Helena’s earring?