The Amazing Rings Found in Archaeological Digs
Rings are some of the most precious artifacts our ancestors have left behind for not only the history they can tell us about the past but also for us to appreciate just how beautiful they can be! Let's look at some of the great rings uncovered during archaeological digs to see just how true these statements can be. Perhaps it might convince you why everyone needs an amazing ring!
Ancient Amethyst Ring in Israel - Worn to Ward Off Hangovers!
Via: Smithsonian Magazine
This golden ring was uncovered near a Byzantine-era winery and is a striking example of jewelry worn by a high-status person during the seventh century. It was excavated at a site in Yavne, south of Tel Aviv in central Israel, in a region known for their amethyst which is said to cure hangovers. It was a rare find and a sparkling jewel for the excavations of the winery as it helped shed light on the people of that time.
An Early Christian Ring Found in Shipwreck off the Coast of Israel
Via: Smithsonian Magazine
Found off the coast of the ancient port city of Caesarea in Israel, this golden Roman ring is a captivating piece. Drawn in by the picture of a sheppard carved into green gemstone it paints an image of the culture of the time wearing a traditional tunic holding ram or sheep in his arms. Some researchers suggest it was worn by a woman and might even depict Jesus!
Engraved Ring in Sweden Links Vikings to Islamic Civilization
Via: The Independent
Excavations in Birka, Sweden in the late 1800s uncovered this silver ring with a violet piece of glass. This piece of technology was uncommon in Viking culture, in 850 AD, and so is most likely a result of close contact with Islamic trading routes. In addition, the ring is inscribed with ‘for Allah’ in ancient Arabic which further strengthens these claims.
Perhaps this belonged to an Islamic man or woman that fell in love with the Viking culture and settled there? Maybe they found true love!
Roman Ring from ‘Britain’s Pompeii
At the Birnchester Site in Durham England, they uncovered an inscribed silver ring related to early Christianity. It was dated to the time of Roman occupation in the 3rd century depicting an anchor and two fish scratched into red glass. Glass was a common replacement for a lot of materials during this time including ceramics and precious gems.
The ‘Cursed’ Ring of Silvianus
This adorned golden band is cursed –Allegedly so. It inspired Tolkien to write about power rings in his Hobbit and Lord of the Rings books! The ring is a gold Roman band uncovered from a field in the late 1700s in Hampshire, England. It is dated to around the 4th century and is inscribed with Latin which reads ‘live in god’. It depicts the face of Venus, the Roman goddess of fertility, love, prosperity, and victory.
The tale of this curse goes that this ring was owned by a Roman called Silvianus, but it was stolen by a man called Senicianus, by which the original owner cursed the ring for having sustained just a loss. This tale was recalled on a Roman ‘curse tablet’ found at a former Noden Roman temple in Gloucestershire, which based on the legend is believed to be this ring
Medieval Ring from Oslo
This medieval ring, excavated in Sørenga, Oslo, can tell us tales of magic, religion, witches, and curses! Made from gold and garnet it was thought to prevent or cure the wearer of depression and keep the air clear of air pollution. Its also very pretty, ornate, and a delicate example of rings during this period of history.
Not only are the gold and garnet precious, but they would also have been used to ward off diseases and curses for the wearer. Apart from that it would have been a stunning piece worn by an affluent member of high society and would have been an object of personal pride.
The Murderer’s Ring
This unusual 600-year-old bronze ring uncovered from an archaeological site in Bulgaria is thought to have been used as a murder weapon. The site was the ruins of Cape Kaliakra, where citizens of the Dobrudja region lived during the 14th century. This was just one of many rings found at the same site indicating it was owned by an affluent person.
Looking at the side picture of the murderer’s ring you can see a hole that archaeologists theorized was used to carry poisons. Likely imported from Italy to the site it was uncovered, the ring would have been worn on a man’s pinkie finger. From there, the poison could have sneakily been poured into a glass for an unsuspecting victim.
The Fulford Ring
A lucky detectorist uncovered an awesome ring in 2016 in the North Yorkshire, England area. This amazingly beautiful Roman ring made of golden has floral decoration along with its band and has a pair of gems as a centerpiece. These gems are ruby and emerald symbolizing chastity and love. Almost certainly this was a betrothal ring for a lucky man or woman!
Ancient Egyptian Signet Ring
Via: British Museum
This golden signet ring was found in Thebes Egypt and is dated to 575 BC. The ring is called a Bezel which was used by officials to stamp documents with their official seals. The inscription is written in ancient Egyptian and reads: ‘Chief Steward of the divine adoratrice Sheshonq’. The name is Libyan in origin and most certainly was worn to show off his status and wealth.
Jade Chinese Ring From the Qing Dynasty
Via: British Museum
This Chinese dragon jade ring from the British Museum is so beautiful! It is a prime example of the stone smiths during the Qing Dynasty of the 18th or 19th century. It is likely this was a remake of an older ancient ring from much earlier in Chinese history, but it is still a piece in its own right to be absolutely unique and stunning!
Rings were symbols of status and when made from jade this added to the meaning as the greenstone gave prosperity, success, and good luck. Emperors were famous for being buried in suits made of jade so, of course, a ring made from the same stuff is important.
The dragon is a symbol of strength and protection, and even the male element yang, to add to this already spiritually heavy piece. I wish I had a ring like this!
There are so many more great rings found in archaeological digs which we could not fit into this single list. I could have gone on and on… But we have to stop at some point or we will never get over how amazing rings are and how important they are to certain parts of our lives.
Are you looking to find yourself a piece of history like a ring from this list then perhaps you might want to check out our The Jameson sourced from an old whiskey barrel! A fan of war history? Then check out our WW2 ring made from a retired gun that has seen active duty. Or if you want something older than perhaps a piece of a four billion-year-old meteorite?
We have a great range of rings with an interesting history or inspiration so check out the bulk of our collection here.