Gold Earring

As he descended the path from the top of Herodium, tourist Dan Rodriguez accidentally discovered this gold earring embedded in an earthen wall. Attributed to the Hellenistic period (332–37 BCE) by the Israel Antiquities Authority, the 1.5-inch earring consists of a wire attached to a bulbous ornament. Granulated gold forming loops and bands decorate the ornament, an element reminiscent of the floral-rosettes on pins and earrings of an even earlier period, such as a dress pin excavated in Sindos, Greece, and dated to about 560 BCE. The end of the wire may have formerly hooked onto the knob protruding from the side of the ornament, in a manner similar to a typical Hellenistic earring.

“Herod’s Lady’s Earring?” BAR July/Aug 1991.