Antiquities > Seals and Tesserae

Lead Tessera Aphrodite/Eros Caesarea Maritima


Hi all.  I am working to complete my catalog of lead tesserae from Caesarea Maritima, surface finds from the sand dunes in the 1970's.  Here is a typically very tiny but fascinating example with what I believe is Venus/Aphrodite on one side, and a winged Eros with crossed leg leaning on torch, on the other.  The pairing of Aphrodite and Eros is well attested in Bonner's magical amulets and in Anit Hamburger's collection, but so far I have not seen these exact types in combination.  This representative style of Eros has sometimes been suggested as possibly related to Thanatos, or Nemesis, but I think the association here with Venus/Aphrodite is a strong argument to the contrary.  I am including a photo of a gem in our collection that more clearly shows the features of the Eros figure.  As always, any other ideas or corrections are most welcome.  Here is also a link to my tessera gallery, below.  Many of the identifications are, by necessity, tentative.  I have around 20-25 more pieces I will be adding soon, though many of them are very difficult to photograph and properly interpret.  Thanks, V-drome

Lead Tessera
Caesarea Maritima
1st - 3rd century CE
Obv: Venus/Aphrodite standing to right,
(drying hair and holding mirror?)
Rev:  Winged Eros standing to right, left
leg crossed over, leaning on inverted torch
or staff.
PB 9 x 8 x 1.25mm. (11.0mm Diagonally) 0.54gm.
cf. BCC LT57, BCC LT18, and BCC G28 Gemstone.
Surface find Caesarea Maritima, 1974.


[0] Message Index

Go to full version