A Roman “hologram” effect ring found in the grave of 1st century AD noblewoman, Aebutia Quarta. The ring is thought to depict her son, Titus Carvilius Gemello, who passed away at age of 18. Found at the Grottaferrata necropolis close to Rome
A 1900-year-old gold ring with a holographic image has impressed both ordinary people and the scientific world with the interesting way the jewelry was made.
It is the gold ring of Titus Carvilius Gemello.
The jewel was found on the finger of a Roman matron, the noblewoman Aebutia Quarta, in a Flavian-Trajanic tomb, now known as the ‘Hypogeum of the Garland’.
Carvilio Gemello, The Mummy of Rome
The tomb was discovered only in 2000 in the necropolis of Grottaferrata, near Rome.
According to Prometeo Magazine, the underground chapel contained two marble sarcophagi of excellent workmanship, decorated in relief and inscribed with the names of the two deceased: Carvilio Gemello and Aebutia Quarta.
When they opened the sarcophagi, the archaeologists were in for a huge surprise – the bodies were still intact.
The embalming they had been subjected to had allowed them to be in such an extraordinary state of preservation that Carvilio’s remains became known as the ‘Mummy of Rome’.
Carvilio’s body was wrapped in a shroud and completely covered with flowers.
Large, well-maintained garlands covered the upper half of the body, one of which was placed around the head. One of his femures was found fractured in two places.
In addition, a high percentage of arsenic was found in the hair, which means both septicemias caused by an injury or a fall from a horse and poisoning were hypothesized as the circumstances of his death.
A Holographic Image Almost 2000 Years Ago
Carvilio had died quite young, at the age of only 18. His mother, Aebutia, followed him a few years later, at the age of 40-45.
Aebutia’s body was barely perceptible, as it was covered with a plant mantle made up of hundreds of tiny garlands.
A well-preserved wig was placed on her head, wrapped in a net woven with fine gold double thread, and finished with a braid.
On the woman’s finger was a gold ring, with a bezel of rock crystal worked in cabochon, through the convex upper surface of which was seen the bust of a male figure finely executed on a sheet of micro-relief.
This creates a holographic image that fascinates the viewer, especially given the age of the jewel. The luminous effect of the crystal lens lends a mysterious depth to the image of the deceased.
Following the loss of her beloved son, Aebutia commissioned the precious gold ring to keep his memory alive.
The ring is currently on display at the Museo Archeologica Nazionale di Palestrina.