Israel finds 2000 year old Cupid

30 August 2010 - 16:43 By Sapa-d[a

Israeli archaeologists have discovered a 2,000 year old cameo bearing the image of Cupid, (Eros in Greek Mythology) the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced.

The cameo, found by the Old City of Jerusalem and one-centimetre large, apparently came from a piece of jewelry, and is made of two layers of semi-precious onyx stone, a blue upper layer, which bears the image of Cupid, and a brown layer, which would have been inserted into the round metal setting of an item of jewelry.

According to the IAA, the inlaid stone is of the "Eros in mourning" type, and is one of a group of visual motifs connected

with the imagery of mourning practices. Jewelry bearing such motifs, such as earrings and rings, were not necessarily worn only in mourning rites, but also served as memento mori, reminders of the fleeting nature of life.

"This discovery, together with other important finds that we uncovered from this unusual large Roman structure at the City of David (adjacent to the Old City of Jerusalem), contribute significantly to our understanding of the nature of Jerusalem's Roman period," Doron Ben-Ami of the IAA said.

The cameo will be presented at the IAA's annual conference in Jerusalem on Wednesday.