Biblical Archaeology Review 12:3, May/June 1986

Ancient Gold Ring Depicts the Holy Sepulchre

By Yaakov Meshorer

A gold ring was found in 1974 in the excavations south of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.a At the time, the suggestion that the ring depicted the Holy Sepulchre, or tomb of Jesus, met with considerable scholarly skepticism. The ring has never been studied or published. My own view is that the structure on the ring does in fact represent the Holy Sepulchre.

Although the ring was uncovered in an excavation, unfortunately, the locus and level of the find give no indication of its date.b The ring must therefore be dated principally on the basis of its style. On this basis, we must be very vague: The ring could have been manufactured at any time during the last thousand years.

Rings like this are, however, known from several other collections. A very similar example can be found at the Benaki Museum in Athens. Others have been found in Israel Jerusalem) and in Europe, a fact not without significance, as we shall see.

The shape of the structure depicted imitates the features of a particular building, not simply a building in general. But what building? Let us look at the ring and its building more closely:

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