Grave goods from a Necropolis at Ostia Antica

SKU: TT14-C120

First and second centuries CE
Stolen from a sarcophagus in the area of Ostia
Recovered in the antique market with missing elements
Recovered by the Guardia di Finanza in 2008

Ring with setting
Gold and glassy, brown paste
Ø circle 1.5 cm
Ø setting 1.2 cm

The setting is oval and slightly raised; the inserted stone has a shiny and slightly convex surface. Incised in the center is a wolf’s profile, with its head turned upwards. The carving is highly accurate and lingers on the details of the muzzle and of the animal’s paws. The setting of the gem is perfect. The band is made of thick gold. It is flat on the inside and moderately “rod-shaped” on the outside, with two sets of oblique lines in relief converging towards the center. Slight signs of wear are noticeable on the outer part. The shape of the ring is a nearly perfect circle.

Obsidian bracelet
Ø 7.5 cm

An obsidian bracelet with a nearly-circular shape presents traces of chalky encrustations on both the outer and inner faces. It is composed of two elements, one of which is much larger in size. The obsidian is carved to be convex, flat on the inside. The two parts are joined by gold hinges on the ribbed surface with three equidistant registers, with extremely small rings making up the linking element. The gold hinges that supported the missing clasp present the same characteristics as the previous ones.

Emerald earring
Gold and emerald
Height: 2.4 cm

The gold setting has an almost rectangular shape. The set stone is a rectangular emerald with a convex surface. Four gold wires with hooked heads adorn the setting. They are arranged like rays pointing toward each corner. The model is probably inspired by the form of an animal, specifically a spider, like the set from Cetona to which it is compared, now in the Antikenmuseum in Berlin, and like the protome of the Armilla del Littore, now at the Archeological Museum of Naples.

Fifteen pieces of a necklace
Gold, mother-of-pearl, and emerald
1.2 cm x 2.5 cm

Preserved in fifteen pieces, the gold half-moon shapes, each with a bypassing hole, were part of a necklace. The surface of each piece has a double, oblique set of lines in relief running along the entire area, save for the small central groove where, on nine of the fifteen pieces, mother-of-pearl and emerald microspheres are placed asymmetrically by a thin gold string.

Maria Cristina Recco


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