Full image caption
Roman intaglio of pale blue upper face on a dark ground with a bust of Roma wearing an Attic helmet in profile to the left. A craftworker carved this bust of Roma into a piece of onyx to make a signet ring. Roma is depicted as a female figure personifying Rome. Her helmet symbolises the military achievements which allowed the Romans to conquer and rule over such a large part of the world. Archaeologists found the gem together with three others in Eastcheap. They were buried under the floor of a building destroyed when Boudicca set fire to London in AD60. The gems may have belonged to a jeweller who buried the stones to keep them safe. Such a craftsman would probably have come from abroad. At this date, native Britons did not have the skills to produce a decorative stone like this one.
© Museum of London