From the Associated Press:
A luxurious gold, pearl and emerald earring provides a new visual clue about the life of the elite in Jerusalem some 2,000 years ago. And its discovery was a true eureka moment for excavators. 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, said Doron Ben-Ami, who directed the dig. The earring was uncovered in a destroyed Byzantine structure built centuries after the piece was made, showing it was likely passed down through generations, he said. Archaeologists came upon the earring in a corner while excavating the ruins of the building under a parking lot. "Suddenly one of the excavators came up shouting ‘Eureka!’" said Ben-Ami. The find is eye-catching: A large pearl inlaid in gold with two drop pieces, each with an emerald and pearl set in gold. "It must have belonged to someone of the elite in Jerusalem," Ben-Ami said. "Such a precious item, it couldn’t be one of just ordinary people." Archaeologist Shimon Gibson, who was not involved in the dig, said the find was truly amazing, less because of its Roman origins than for its precious nature. "Jewelry is hardly preserved in archaeological context in Jerusalem," he said, because precious metals were often sold or melted down during the many historic takeovers of the city.