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Ancient earring sheds new light

SCIENCE BRIEFING

November 15, 2008|Times Staff and Wire Reports

A luxurious gold, pearl and emerald earring provides a new visual clue about the life of the elite in Jerusalem about 2,000 years ago, researchers said Monday.

The piece was found beneath a parking lot next to the walls of Jerusalem's Old City. It dates to the Roman period just after the time of Jesus.

The earring was uncovered in a destroyed Byzantine structure built centuries after the piece was made, showing it was probably passed down through generations.

The Israel Antiquities Authority said the earring appeared to have been made using a technique similar to that depicted in portraits from Roman-era Egypt. Experts were able to date the earring by comparing it to similar, but less well-preserved, finds in Europe.

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