Carved from transparent semi-precious aquamarine the carving of this gem depicts a youth lifting a bull onto his shoulder- this might depict a feat of strength or commemorate an event.
The gem is signed by the artist Anterotos about whom little is known. Ancient gem carvers used drills to create their designs, known as intaglio when carved into the stone or cameo when the design is created by paring away layers and picking out the design in coloured layers.
Gems like intaglios could be worn set in rings or worn as pendants, they could also be used to create impressions in wax or clay acting as a signature on documents or on seals.
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