Ancient Roman Carnelian Intaglio with an Ibis
A lovely ancient Roman carnelian gem carved with an intaglio image of an ibis with its head to the ground foraging. Date to circa the 2nd - 3rd century AD. Length: 8 mm
cf.: British Museum, London, museum no. OA.9620.
Formerly in a United Kingdom and London collection.
In ancient Rome, the ibis was a symbol of rebirth and resurrection, as well as the sacredness of life. In ancient Egypt it was associated with the gods Osiris and Thoth, who both represented the concepts of intelligence, wisdom, and justice. The ibis was a messenger from the beyond, an intermediary between heavens and the earth.