The Jewels of The Ancient World – Part Two

By | April 20, 2022

Continued From Part One

The Sumerians skillfully alternated the multicolored stones and metals, achieving balanced color effects and combinations with great impact. The variety of models and ornaments is quite limited, but the craftsmanship, as evidenced by the preserved objects, reminds us of the jeweler’s art tradition that survived during the periods, for which we have not reached much evidence.

The artifacts dating from 2000 BC., following the large wealth of the Sumerian city of Ur, definitely are not as flamboyant. In the regions devoid of their own mineral resources, through many trials and with a minimum amount of metal, the large effects occurred due to previously known techniques of granulation and filigree. In the necropolises in the area of ​​South Palestine were discovered some of the finest ornaments and pretty jewelry, resulting in the intertwining of different trends; some of the pendants for example, were made ​​of gold plates intertwined and fixed to each other in a way that to look massive and heavier; others were decorated with polychrome glass imitating lapis lazuli and turquoise.

The bronze needles from Luristan, a mountainous area in southeastern Iran, dating between 1000 and 700 BC., are extraordinary in their decoration, as well as with their purpose. From the time of the Sumerians, the pins were used to fasten clothes and remained an indispensable accessory to the appearance of the long needles and the brooches, which then replaced them.

The decorative motifs from Luristan were stylized versions of those types of the Mesopotamian civilizations from southern Iran. The protruding zoomorphic motifs on the surface of the gold belts are similar of those displayed by the Shiites and other tribes. These details are found in the metal objects from what is now southern Russia. Typically in nomadic style is the decoration of the ornaments and the jewelry with animalistic figures.

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