Isn't she beautiful?!
And to think, she is just a terracotta antefix.
Made by the Romans here in Jerusalem between the 1st and 3rd centuries of the Common Era.
Our lovely mask-shaped roof edge decoration--or antefix--was used like this, on the covering tiles of a tiled roof.
But the reason this post is going to ABC Wednesday's X-day is because of what is stamped on these old tiles:
LEG X FRE which means TENTH ROMAN LEGION, FRENTENSIS.
When the Tenth Legion, stationed in Jerusalem, was not engaged in destroying the city it was busy building up the infrastructure of the area.
As the exhibit is described in the Israel Museum
In peacetime, Roman soldiers were employed in public works.The tiles shown above were made at the kilns discovered (and preserved!) under what is today Jerusalem's International Convention Center.
The most hated of these were the back-breaking construction projects: paving roads and building fortresses, walls, dams, and aqueducts.
The legions would record their labors for posterity with Latin inscriptions carved in stone.
The produced their own building materials in special workshops, stamping them with military symbols to prevent their sale on the open market.
Notice the sandal-print of a poor Roman soldier who goofed and stepped on the tile as it was drying!
Here is another Roman numeral X.
The limestone stone reads LEG X FRE COH IIX.
It is the inscription of the Eighth Cohort of the Tenth Legion Frentensis.
(For more about Jerusalem's Roman history you can click on my labels Tenth Legion, Romans, Roman kiln, Roman pavement, Roman theater.
Or, see Wikipedia about Legio X Frentensis.)
UPDATE: As Rob reminds me in a comment now, it was the Legio X Frentensis, headed by Peter O'Toole--oh, I mean Roman governor of Judea Lucius Flavius Silva--that laid siege to Masada in the years 72-3.
And also that the Tenth Legion had a garrison at the present-day Arab village of Abu Ghosh, just outside Jerusalem. They chose to build a fortress there because it was close to the Roman road going from Emmaus to Jerusalem.