Ancient Roman Carnelian Intaglio with an Ant
Unique and pretty ancient Roman carnelian intaglio carved with an image of an ant. Dates to circa the 2nd - 3rd century AD. Length: 6 mm.
In Ancient Rome, ants (formica) were thought of as a symbol of hard work and diligence. They were seen as a symbol of toil and industry and the dedication with which one works a trait which they saw as essential to the Roman character and especially the military.
cf.: British Museum, London, museum no. 1986,0401.217.
Formerly United Kingdom collection