We all have things in life that remind us of those we have loved but lost. This is one such story of a mother's undying love for her son.
Since the beginning of life, death has been as much a part of the cycle as survival. Earlier, people would probably donate to the poor or name places based on the person they have lost forever. The modern version of it would be to name buildings and do charity in the names of loved ones. However, social grief aside, we also often have mementos of and for the ones we have lost. An old story that recently resurfaced speaks about one such memento of grief and love that was found in the grave of a 1st-century CE noblewoman, making it around 2000 years old, per My Modern Met. This story was also posted on Reddit by u/RomanItalianEuropean four years ago on the r/europe thread.
In the olden days, people often carved mementos into stone. However, this particular memento was found in the tomb of this Roman noblewoman on her hand. It was a beautifully crafted ring, created with gold and stone, which had the face of her son. However, the face was not carved on the surface. In a very unrealistic manner, the face of the woman's deceased son was carved behind the stone, which resulted in a "hologram" effect. It was a beautiful representation of a life loved and lost.
Roman “hologram” effect ring found in the grave of 1st century AD noblewoman, Aebutia Quarta. Thought to depict her son, Titus Carvilius Gemello, who died at age 18. Found at the Grottaferrata necropolis near Rome. pic.twitter.com/qWktHrgUb4— Alex Eccleston Æ (@AventuraObscura) November 13, 2023
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It belonged to a 1st-century CE Roman noblewoman called Aebutia Quarta. Her tomb was found in the year 2000 in Italy on the Grottaferrata site. The tomb also had the remains of her son Carvilius Gemellus, whose body was preserved very well. His remains showcased death due to some poisoning or injury. The remains also proved that the young man died when he was only 18 years old and that he died before his mother did. Since the remains of the mother and the child were covered in garlands of flowers, their tomb is also known as the "Hypogeum of the Garland."
2,000-Year-Old Hologram Ring Features Face of 1st-Century Woman’s Deceased Son https://t.co/86KzgNml92— Levan Ramishvili (@levanrami) December 2, 2023
The mother was wearing a gold and stone ring on her finger, which was just more affirmation about the fact that she, in fact, was a noblewoman. The ring had a thick gold band with a rock crystal in the center. Behind the crystal was a holographic face carved into the stone, which belonged to the son of Quarta. His tomb was very close to her own and the ring seemed to signify the depth of the bond they shared. The piece of art she had made in the form of this ring was nothing less than spectacular. So much so that right now, the ring is in the possession of the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Palestrina. The holographic figure was carved with the utmost attention to detail on the back of the ring so that there would be some real depth in her son's face.
In today's world, a token like this is as impossible as it would probably be rare. This ring, which was probably made after the son's death and before the mother's, is a reminder of her love and grief. That is why this ring is now treated as a symbol of grief, love and craftsmanship.