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HOME : Classical Antiquities : Ancient Jewelry : Hellenistic Pair of Gold Earrings
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Hellenistic Pair of Gold Earrings - OS.018
Origin: Mediterranean
Circa: 300 BC to 100 BC
Dimensions: 1.81" (4.6cm) high
Collection: Jewelry
Medium: Gold


Location: Great Britain
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Description
This magnificent pair of Hellenistic gold earrings are formed from hoops with suspended pendants. The design is abstract with a cylindrical column attached to a square base, beneath which is a cluster of golden granulations. Luxurious items such as these were made to be worn as symbols of status and elegance. Gold jewellery was also dedicated to the gods as votive offerings in temple sanctuaries. This practice was particularly common amongst women seeking a good marriage or protection in childbirth. During the Hellenistic period important jewellery workshops are known to have been located at Tarentum, Alexandria and Antioch. The Greek mainland itself was not naturally rich in gold and it had to be sought elsewhere through trade and conquest. Around the Mediterranean more plentiful supplies could be found in Egypt, Nubia and Spain. Further afield to the east, northern Kazakhstan and the Altai Mountains are believed to have been important sources. Indeed, Alexander the Great’s military exploits in the Near East were sometimes referred to as a quest for gold. The scarcity of the material can only have contributed to its allure among the elite of Hellenistic society. - (OS.018)

 

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