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Seller: ancientgifts (4,186) 99.3%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 381720115982 TRANSLATE Arabic Chinese French German Greek Indonesian Italian Hindi Japanese Korean Swedish Portuguese Russian Spanish Your browser does not support JavaScript. To view this page, enable JavaScript if it is disabled or upgrade your browser. Click here to see 1,000 archaeology/ancient history books and 2,000 ancient artifacts, antique gemstones, antique jewelry! Jewels of Ancient Nubia by Yvonne Markowitz and Denise Doxey. NOTE: We have 75,000 books in our library, almost 10,000 different titles. Odds are we have other copies of this same title in varying conditions, some less expensive, some better condition. We might also have different editions as well (some paperback, some hardcover, oftentimes international editions). If you don’t see what you want, please contact us and ask. We’re happy to send you a summary of the differing conditions and prices we may have for the same title. DESCRIPTION: Hardcover with dustjacket.. Publisher: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2014). Pages: 240. Size: 11½ x 8½ inches; 2½ pounds.. Located at the intersection of trade routes from central Africa, the ancient Near East and the Classical world, ancient Nubia ruled the entire Nile Valley at the height of its power in the eighth century B.C. Its neighbor and frequent rival Egypt called it "the gold lands" because its territories held such an abundance of the precious metal, and because its inhabitants produced some of the most finely crafted jewelry of the ancient world. This book features over 100 adornments and personal accessories from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, which houses the finest collection of Nubian jewelry outside Khartoum. The first comprehensive introduction to the sophisticated jewels of this great empire, it reveals how Nubian artisans employed techniques that would not be reinvented in Europe for another two thousand years, and how the original owners valued such possessions not only for their inherent beauty, but also because they were imbued with magical meanings. Exquisite photography and an authoritative history written by leading experts make this book essential for both jewelry aficionados and anyone interested in the great cultures of the ancient world. CONDITION: NEW. New very large hardcover w/dustjacket. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2014) 240 pages. Unblemished and pristine in every respect EXCEPT it has a shallow scratch/snag across the upper half of the front side of the dustjacket. Pages are clean, crisp, unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound, unambiguously unread. Condition is entirely consistent with new stock from an open-shelf bookstore environment (such as Barnes & Noble or B. Dalton, for example), wherein otherwise new books might show minor signs of shelfwear and or superficial cosmetic blemishes ("shop wear"), consequence of simply being shelved and re-shelved. Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. No disappointments, no excuses. PROMPT SHIPPING! HEAVILY PADDED, DAMAGE-FREE PACKAGING! #8353b. PLEASE SEE DESCRIPTIONS AND IMAGES BELOW FOR DETAILED REVIEWS AND FOR PAGES OF PICTURES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW. PUBLISHER REVIEWS: REVIEW: Located at the intersection of trade routes from central Africa, the ancient Near East and the Classical world, ancient Nubia ruled the entire Nile Valley at the height of its power in the eighth century B.C. Its neighbor and frequent rival Egypt called it "the gold lands" because its territories held such an abundance of the precious metal, and because its inhabitants produced some of the most finely crafted jewelry of the ancient world. This book features over 100 adornments and personal accessories from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, which houses the finest collection of Nubian jewelry outside Khartoum. Simple shell ornaments and necklaces of blue-glazed quartz beads, intricate gold filigree earrings and semi-precious gems delicately carved into amulets of the gods, elegant enameled bracelets and stunning gold collars, lavishly embellished mirrors and cosmetic vessels – all testify to the skill of their makers and the importance of these objects to those who wore or used them. The first comprehensive introduction to the sophisticated jewels of this great empire, it reveals how Nubian artisans employed techniques that would not be reinvented in Europe for another two thousand years, and how the original owners valued such possessions not only for their inherent beauty, but also because they were imbued with magical meanings. Exquisite photography and an authoritative history written by leading experts make this book essential for both jewelry aficionados and anyone interested in the great cultures of the ancient world. REVIEW: Ancient Nubian artisans created some of the most spectacular jewelry made in antiquity. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, has one of the most comprehensive collections of jewelry in the world. With nearly twenty thousand objects, its holdings include adornments from six continents and range in date from ancient to modern times. Amassed over the past one hundred forty years, the ornaments were acquired through gifts, bequests and purchases, as well as excavations conducted by the Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition in the early decades of the twentieth century. The MFA opened a stunning exhibition of excavated Nubian adornments in the Rita J. and Stanley H. Kaplan Family Foundation Gallery, a space dedicated to the display of jewelry. The Harvard–Boston Expedition team was active in Sudan during the years 1907 to 1932. There, thousands of years ago, ancient Nubian artisans created some of the most spectacular jewelry made in antiquity. As was customary at the time, half of the ornaments discovered were assigned to the museum (the other half to Khartoum) where over the years they have been researched, conserved and displayed. This work has been greatly aided by a rich archive that includes thousands of photographs, drawings, maps, excavation notes, and diaries. The jewelry, as well as statuary, temple relief and tomb depictions illustrating how jewelry was worn, offers insights into the daily life of the Nubians, including their aesthetic preferences, religious beliefs, technological inventiveness, and relations with foreign lands. The peoples of ancient Nubia were an indigenous African population who occupied the land between Aswan in the north and Khartoum in the south. Their neighbor to the north was Egypt, a formidable state with a rich material culture that looked to Nubia for exotic goods such as ivory, ebony, animal skins, ostrich eggs, and gold. Gold was an important commodity in the ancient Near East and was used to make a variety of luxury goods. It was also a sacred substance, associated in both Egypt and Nubia with the powerful sun god, Amen-Re. Some scholars have even suggested that the name Nubia derives from the Egyptian word nbw, meaning gold. Early in Nubia’s history, a good deal of jewelry was imported from Egypt, especially ornaments made of faience, a synthetic, quartz-based ceramic with a vitreous, colored glaze. By the Classic Kerma period (1700-1550 B.C.), the Nubians, who had established a kingdom in what is now northern Sudan near the third cataract, mastered faience technology and turned their energies to glazing clear quartz a dazzling blue. The most common objects made of this material were spherical, translucent beads that were used in necklaces, bracelets and occasionally on textiles. One necklace with faience star-shaped beads and a cylindrical, silver amulet case from Egypt includes several of these beads as well as carnelian beads produced locally. More unusual and unique to Nubia are glazed, six-sided natural quartz pendants worn around the neck or waist. It has been suggested that the quartz was believed to possess magical properties because of its association with gold in metal-rich quartz veins. Kerma’s formidable warriors were also buried with distinctive items of adornment. Functional swords and daggers were accompanied by miniature examples made with precious materials, which must have served a ceremonial function. Large, stylized fly pendants made of ivory and bronze were also recovered from the tombs of warriors and were typically found in pairs. These curious ornaments may be based on the fact that Nubian soldiers were reputed to be tough, tenacious fighters likened to the determined aggressiveness of the Nilotic fly. Later, the Egyptians adopted the fly as their own military decoration, indirectly paying homage to the skill and valor of Nubian warriors. Egyptian flies, however, were smaller and often made of gold. By the mid-eighth century B.C. (the Napatan period), the Nubians established a powerful dynasty that conquered Egypt and ruled the entire Nile valley. They were heavily influenced by Egyptian culture, adopting its written language and aspects of their architecture, decorative arts, religion, and funerary customs. Some of the objects created and worn during this period appear to be of Egyptian origin while others are uniquely Nubian. An outstanding example of an Egyptian-made jewel is the Hathor-headed crystal pendant (see Cover) found in the burial of a queen of Piankhy (743-712 B.C.), the ruler credited with establishing Nubian dominion over Egypt. Hathor, a popular Egyptian goddess who personified love, fertility, motherhood, and music, was also worshipped in Nubia at this time, and her image appears on scarabs, ceramics and horse trappings. In this pendant she is depicted as a woman wearing a headdress composed of two cow horns, a sun disk and a uraeus, the stylized upright cobra that signified royalty or divine authority. The head surmounts a rock crystal orb with a hollow gold tube in the center believed to contain a thin gold sheet or papyrus inscribed with magical figures and text. In the same queen’s tomb were additional pendants in the Egyptian style. However, other adornments exhibit distinctly Nubian features. This is especially the case with some of the large faience pendants with representations of the female figure. One example features a nude, winged goddess crowned with a sun disk, a pair of horns and a double plume. The goddess’s pose, body type, hairstyle, and nudity are uniquely Nubian. The voluptuous curves of her breasts, abdomen and thighs suggest fertility, rebirth and resurrection—all believed to be powerful attributes in Nubian culture in this life and the next. While Egyptian jewelry is typically composed of materials that reflect the tri-color palette (orange-red, blue and green) established early in Egyptian history, the Napatans preferred exotic stones and materials, including shimmering blue chalcedony from Turkey, amethystine-quartz from the Eastern desert and malachite from the Sinai peninsula. Queen Khensa, the sister-wife of Piankhy, appears to have had an interest in mineralogy, as her tomb contained a collection of polished rock specimens such as agate, travertine, green-glazed limestone, and carnelian. There was also an assemblage of round flint pebbles resembling marbles and a group of natural stones with multiple lobes; one was deemed so special it was wrapped with gold wire. It is likely the stones in Khensa’s tomb were imbued with a particular importance or meaning, like those in a similar group, described as a “ritual deposit,” discovered at the site of a Napatan temple at Gebel Barkal. The addition of text could also enhance the amuletic potential of certain stones and natural substances. A small steatite orb that belonged to Queen Khensa, decorated with six vertical bands of incised hieroglyphs, would have been intended to place the queen under the protection of the powerful Amen, while the cartouches carved on the sphere with her names and titles would have ensured her well-being and immortality. Similarly, an imitation snail shell of steatite belonging to Queen Khensa is inscribed with a wraparound dedication meant to bring its owner health, stability and good luck in perpetuity. Napatan royal sculpture and iconography draw from both Egyptian and local features. Kings are represented in a deliberately archaizing style, with their poses, kilts and slim, muscular physiques copying Egyptian prototypes from the Old Kingdom (circa 2550 B.C.). Their jewelry and other royal accoutrements, on the other hand, are typically Kushite. The preferred style of crown for Nubian royals was a close-fitting cap with streamers in the back, two tall feathers on top, and a double uraeus on the forehead. Royal jewelry included wide armbands, bracelets and anklets, along with neck ornaments and earrings featuring rams’ heads, the symbol of Amen. The standard ram necklace was composed of three rams’ heads suspended on a heavy cord or chain—one close to the neckline and two draped down the shoulders, as seen in a bronze statuette of King Taharqa (690-664 B.C.). Although no neck ornament of this type has survived, a ram’s-head earring featuring a sun disk and two uraei, from the Western Cemetery at Meroe, indicates that these ornaments were probably made of heavy cast gold. Probably the most important Napatan find was that of King Aspelta’s (643-623 B.C.) pyramid at Nuri. It was the best preserved of the royal burials, yielding some extraordinary grave goods, including several objects hidden from plunderers by the collapse of the tomb’s roof. One exquisite object is a travertine vessel with a bejeweled collar, believed to have contained a fragrant perfume or ointment. The collar or neck is made of gilded silver with five rows of cloisonné work and a curtain of double loop-in-loop gold chains with stone pendants. Unfortunately, the colorful cut-stone or glass inlays that once filled the cloison cells are missing. The oval pendants are made of carnelian, amazonite and magnetite, all minerals imbued with magical powers. Other precious objects recovered from Aspelta’s tomb include a gold ewer; six tweezers; a silver milk vessel inscribed for King Senkamanisken, Aspelta’s father; and a gold vessel lid with a loop-in-loop chain. There were also several hundred gold beads and more than a hundred amethyst beads. Most puzzling are fifteen gold and gilded-silver cylinder sheaths—vertical tubes closed at the bottom by a circular disk and open at the top. These objects are unique to Napatan culture and are decorated with imagery associated with the Amen cult of Gebel Barkal, including winged goddesses (Isis, Hathor and Mut) and friezes of rams’ heads, uraei, lotus blossoms, and papyrus buds. The verticality of the decorations indicates that the cylinders were made to be used or held upright. Some scholars have suggested that they served as handles for ostrich plumes or staves of grain carried in ritual processions. The center of Nubian life moved further south towards modern Khartoum around the third century B.C. (the Meroitic period). Meroitic rulers adopted a new style of dress and some new royal accoutrements. They are shown wearing long, fringed robes beneath shawls adorned with tassels. The caplike crown of the Napatan period still appears, sometimes with the addition of rams’ horns and diadems. Kings, queens and deities are portrayed laden with elaborate jewelry, including broad collars, necklaces of heavy ball beads, large pendants, anklets, stacked bracelets, armbands, earrings, finger rings, and occasionally archers’ thumb rings (Chapman drawing 1986.173). The jewelry created and worn in Meroe was less influenced by Egypt and often includes representations of Nubian deities such as the leonine warrior god, Apedemak. Ram-headed depictions of Amen-Re, often combined with other gods and goddesses, were also popular. Amulets and beads, fabricated from gold, silver, hardstone, faience, and glass were produced in large numbers and worn strung around the neck and wrist. Among the many types of necklaces worn in Meroe are examples made of individual bead-like elements that skillfully combine seemingly disparate images, such as rams with double uraei and sun disks surmounted by the heads of goddesses. Enameling was developed to a high degree and certain techniques found in jewelry, including champlevé, repoussé, en plein sur fond reserve, and plique à jour appear for the first time during this period. An outstanding example of the use of multiple techniques in a single jewel is a bracelet from a queen’s burial at Gebel Barkal. It has a broad area of fused glass framing a raised gold appliqué of a seated Hathor. The image of Hathor was once covered with a reddish brown enamel while green, blue and brown (once red) enamels fill the spaces between the raised gold strips and diamond shapes. A number of earring styles prevailed in Meroe—disk-shaped ear studs; ram-head studs; wire hoops with pendants; and cast penannular (with a small gap) earrings. Some depict protective household deities, such as Hathor and Bes. Others resemble ear ornaments from the ancient Greek world. Once believed to be imports, scientific analyses indicate these were actually made locally. Nubian earrings typically bear images of deities and religious symbols that were intended to protect the wearer. An example is a Double Hathor-head earring depicting a papyrus blossom (symbol of fertility) surmounting two Hathor heads and four pendants terminating in lotus flowers (symbols of regeneration). Other earrings are purely decorative as exemplified by a circular stud with gold filigree and colored enamel decoration. Also popular in Meroe were finger rings that were sometimes worn in multiples and occasionally stacked on one finger, a fashion fad in the Roman world. The most common rings were precious metal signets cast in three-part molds. These rings often have high bezels with engraved images of deities on the flat plane. Other rings were three-dimensional, such as a rearing cobra whose hood was once embellished with champlevé blue enamel. Another, recovered from an un-plundered burial that also included several silver signets, features a silver ram’s-head with a double-feather crown. One finger ornament, possibly an import, is a simple gold band bearing a Greek inscription wishing good fortune to the wearer. The glass industry was advanced in Meroe. In addition to enameled glass vessels, jewelry in the form of glass beads and cast intaglios for rings, were prized possessions. Probably the most extraordinary glass adornments were stratified eye beads. These remarkable beads have spots or circular rings representing eyes, and they were believed to magically protect the wearer from malevolent forces. The most complex eye beads have multiple rings, often in contrasting colors. The rings are formed by applying a drop of molten glass to the body of a heat-softened glass bead and then pressing the drop into the matrix. In the case of twenty-two beads recovered from a royal burial in the Northern Cemetery at Meroe, three drops of decreasing size—one on top of the other—were rolled into the glass as it cooled. These beads also have a unique feature: crisscrossing gold bands covered or overlaid by a clear enamel. In creating these ornaments, the craftsman would have first carved into the blue glass matrix, then set thin strips of gold sheet in the channels, and finally cover the gold with a thin, protective coat of clear glass. Imported stratified eye beads, probably made by the Phoenicians, were known to the Nubians since the Napatan period, but none of the earlier beads have such dazzling, translucent blue glass or gold-band decoration. These stunning beads have no known parallel in the ancient world. Archaeologists from the Museum of Fine Arts were among the first to carry out scientific excavations in Sudan. As a result of their work the museum houses the largest and finest collection of Nubian art outside Sudan. The Nubians left extraordinary remains such as palaces, temples, towns, and cities. Yet, largely because only a small number of their inscriptions can be understood by modern scholars, they remain mysterious and poorly understood. We hope that this exhibition, in addition to displaying the skill and inventiveness of Nubia’s superb jewelers, will provide our visitors with a glimpse of the ancient Nubians’ artistic achievements, as well as insights into their important and fascinating civilization. REVIEW: “Jewels of Ancient Nubia” draws on the world-class collection of jewelry from ancient Nubia (located in what is now Sudan) accumulated by the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), and which now constitutes the most comprehensive collection outside Khartoum, focusing on excavated ornaments from an early 20th-century expedition by the MFA with Harvard University, dating from 1700 bce to 300 ce, including both uniquely Nubian and foreign imports, prized for their materials, craftsmanship, symbolism and rarity. REVIEW: The Boston Museum of Fine Arts, in conjunction with Harvard University, carried out excavations in northern Sudan between 1913 and 1932. Our Curator of Egyptian Art, George Reisner, who was also a professor at Harvard, led the expedition. Prior to Reisner’s discoveries, ancient Kushite or “Nubian civilization” was completely unknown. He could not have fully comprehended the importance of what he had found. Among the sites the expedition excavated were Kushite royal and elite cemeteries at Kerma, el-Kurru, Nuri, Gebel Barkal and Meroe, and a series of ancient Egyptian fortresses in Nubia. The policy of the Sudanese government, at the time, was to divide finds with the excavators, giving the MFA a collection unparalleled outside Khartoum. Everything in the exhibition comes from the excavations. Another fact worth noting is that in addition to the objects themselves, the MFA holds all of Reisner’s excavation records, including field notebooks, object registers, photo registers, and glass plate negatives. Reisner was a pioneer in using photography to record his finds while they were still in the ground. A century ago, this was incredibly rare. The records provide the context for the finds and allow scholars to study the material in a way they could not otherwise. With jewelry, such as necklaces and bracelets, this can be particularly important because the original strings do not survive, but the position in which beads were discovered allows them to be reconstructed accurately. This would be impossible without the photos. One historical fact revealed is how cosmopolitan a place ancient Nubia was. It was in no way a backwater. At various points in time, influences from central Africa were mixing with those from Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Near East, and the Red Sea. Influences were always moving back and forth. During certain periods, such as the eighth century BCE when Nubian kings ruled Egypt, Egyptian motifs are very prominent. At other times, they are much less visible. In terms of technique, Nubian jewelers were incredibly innovative, often much more so than the Egyptians. Particularly during the Meroitic Period — roughly the third century BCE through the fourth century CE — they were very much ahead of their time, investigating new glassmaking technology and experimenting with a whole range of enamel techniques. Another characteristic of Nubian jewelers throughout their history is an interest in unusual and exotic materials. Some types of stones were inherently rare, others had to be imported from as far away as what is now Turkey and Afghanistan, and others were not typically used for jewelry. Color seems to have had special significance; one eighth century BCE queen, Khensa, was buried with a fascinating collection of unusual stones and fossils, some in their original state and some worked into jewelry. Nubians, at least from the first millennium BCE onwards, have an aesthetic of female beauty that differs strikingly from that of the Egyptians. It is well expressed in a series of large, faience amulets found among the burial goods of early Napatan queens (c. eighth century BCE). One example features a nude, winged goddess crowned with a sun disc, a pair of horns, and double plume. The goddess is notably full figured, with the sensual curves of the breasts, abdomen, and thighs suggesting fertility. Powerful women with similar proportions are seen elsewhere in Nubian art as well. Different techniques were used in different periods. Some of them were never replicated until modern scientists and conservators could analyze their chemical composition in recent years. Others, like certain types of enamels, were independently discovered centuries later. During the period we know as Classic Kerma — about 1700-1550 BCE — jewelers produced blue-glazed quartz beads, made from clear quartz crystals (rock crystal). They were shaped into spheres, pierced, coated with a vitreous glaze, and then heated. The resulting beads are brilliantly translucent. However, these beads were not easy to produce. Reisner uncovered a workshop with large numbers of beads that had cracked and broken during the firing process. Without a doubt, the people of Kerma clearly thought it was worth the trouble. Kerma artisans used a similar technique to glaze sculpture and also natural crystals that were fashioned into pendants worn around the neck or waist. Quartz must have held a special religious significance, possibly as a result of its association with the mining of gold, which was itself believed to be imbued with magical properties. Much later, during the Meroitic Period, Nubian craftsmen experimented with several types of enamels, as I mentioned earlier. Among the most difficult and unusual are the backless “stained glass window” technique (plique à jour) the earliest known example of which comes from Nubia and dates to the first century BCE. Another technique in which Meroitic jewelers were ahead of their time is champlevé enameling, in which areas carved out of the metal backing were filled with powdered glass that fused upon heating. Glassmaking — at the time a new technology — was very sophisticated in Meroitic Nubia. Particularly complex and impressive are what we call “stratified eye beads,” which are multi-colored beads with spots or circular rings representing eyes. As Yvonne explains them, they were formed by applying drops of molten glass onto the body of a heat-softened glass bead and then pressing the drop into the matrix. Certain of these beads also feature criss-crossing gold bands created by carving into the blue glass matrix, then setting thin strips of gold sheet into the channels, and covering the gold with a thin, protective coat of clear glass (en résille sur verre enamel). Each bead would have taken hours to produce. In ancient Nubia, a principle role of jewelry was amuletic, meaning that the raw materials or the form of an ornament were believed to protect the wearer from malevolent forces. Unfortunately, because many Nubian cultures did not have a written language until relatively late in their history and because scholars are still unable to translate the Meroitic language, we can only guess at other meanings based on representations of jewelry in art or from the archaeological context. Gold clearly seems to have been sacred as well as intrinsically valuable, probably because of its imperishability. As I mentioned, quartz was regarded as having divine properties probably because it was found alongside gold. An intriguing adornment, the alluvial (placer) nugget jewel, is evidence of the importance of gold in Nubia. One example, the largest so far recovered from ancient Nubia, was found near the neck of a deceased male. The 50 gram specimen of solid gold has not been worked other than with the addition of a hand-fabricated gold bail to allow for stringing. So clearly the gold itself, rather than the form it took, was important. Other stones were selected for unusual colors or shapes. A good example is an eighth century BCE amulet of Thoth, the god of moon, as well as writing and knowledge. It is made of blue chalcedony, a rare form of quartz mined in what is present-day Turkey and used in the manufacture of Babylonian seals and small, precious sculptures. It’s possible the Nubian associated its unusual silvery blue color with a lunar deity. Certain animals were associated with royal power, in particular lions and rams. Both are recurrent motifs in Nubian jewelry. The ram, representing the supreme deity Amen (Egyptian: Amun), was featured on necklaces and earrings worn by Nubian rulers and was eventually adopted by a larger segment of the population. Ram-headed sphinxes combine the forces of both animals. The Nubian cultures remain surprisingly unfamiliar to most people, especially when compared to their much more famous Egyptian neighbors. I think visitors will be impressed by their sophistication and inventiveness as well as the beauty of their creations. I think many people will also be struck by how contemporary some of the pieces look. I can easily envision people wearing them today. I hope that readers will gain a better understanding and appreciation of the Nubians and that the exhibition will whet their appetites to learn more about ancient Nubia. The study of Nubia has expanded exponentially in the past few decades and our knowledge about the Nubians is so much greater than it was at the time of Reisner’s excavations. His careful records remain crucially important to scholarship but can now be evaluated in the light of a century of research that has taken place since. Nubia really deserves to be much better known. [Denise M. Doxey, Curator, Ancient Egyptian, Nubian and Near Eastern Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.] REVIEW: Yvonne J. Markowitz is Rita J. Kaplan and Susan B. Kaplan Curator of Jewelry, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Denise M. Doxey is Curator of Ancient Egyptian, Nubian, and Near Eastern Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: Beautifully illustrated appreciation of the stunning jewelry of ancient Egypt's southern neighbor Nubia is known as the ‘Land of Gold’, a country plundered by the ancient Egyptians for its abundant supplies of this precious metal. But the Nubians were master craftsmen in their own right, creating some of the world’s finest jewelry with hand-made tools, under the most basic conditions and inventing techniques that would only be rediscovered in Europe several thousand years later. Yvonne J. Markowitz begins her survey of the treasures of ancient Nubia with an introductory chapter about the ‘People of the Gold Lands’, where we learn that jewelry was worn by men, women, children and even prized animals, with clear social distinctions in the type of jewelry worn (the elite using gold, silver, electrum, ivory, lapis Lazuli and other hard stones, while the lower orders made do with faience and shell). Over time, however, the materials of the elite were found more frequently further down the social ladder; glass for example was a highly prized material when it first appeared, produced only for the elite in royal workshops, but as production became more widespread, glass became more available to ordinary Nubians. This introduction is followed by a gallery of jewelry, beautifully photographed and shown large enough to highlight the finest details. Over a hundred items from the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston are presented, including unique indigenous items (such as a necklace of blue-glazed rock crystal beads) as well as pieces inspired by Egyptian and Greek forms (for example a hinged gold bracelet bearing the image of Mut with different colored enamel inlays). My personal favorites include a gold and carnelian necklace of human and ram figures from the Meroitic Period (equating to Egypt's Graeco-Roman era), and a Napatan Period (Late Period) web of faience beads and Hathor-head amulets worn by one of the king’s buried horses. There are a series of separate chapters on ‘Early Adornments’ and the jewellery of the Kingdoms of Kerma, Napata and Meroe, materials and techniques and the role played by MFA and Harvard University in the discovery and excavation of ancient Nubian sites. Egypt’s dazzling ornaments are acclaimed the world over, and yet the beautifully crafted creations of the Nubian artisans is less well known, so this is a timely appreciation of the technical mastery and elegance of design of ancient Nubian jewelry. [AncientEgyptMagazine.Com]. REVIEW: The essays found within Jewels of Ancient Nubia explore the breadth of ancient of Nubian civilization -- from the distant prehistoric past (c. 3500 BCE) to the collapse of the Kingdom of Meroë (c. 350 CE) -- with special focus given to artistic development. Among the essays, we found “The Kingdom of Kerma” to be quite rewarding. From 1700-1550 BCE -- a period designated by historians and archaeologists as “Classic Kerma” -- Kerma was a dynamic urban center in Lower Nubia, enriched by trade with Egypt and the Red Sea coast. Artisans of this epoch utilized a fascinating range of materials for their color, texture, luster, and symbolic significance. The sheer variety and tantalizing iconography of the objects from Kerma is visually striking. The real heart of this stunning exhibition catalogue precedes the authoritative essays: the "gallery section." Here, the publication covers the presentation of items from the exhibition. The reader is immersed in the rich collection of exhibited items as well as the trajectory of artistic development over several millennia. Most photographs cover three-quarters of the page, while others traverse two pages, side-by-side. The photographs are of exceptional quality, and the would-be-reader is able to glimpse items of considerable beauty. While one can easily distinguish the strong influence of nearby Egypt, the dazzling use of color and the inherent beauty of Nubian jewelry cannot be questioned. Special mention must be made of the items from the Kingdom of Meroë -- necklaces and pendants -- for their intricate design and subtle Greco-Roman influence. Napatan era amulets should also not be missed. The final portion of Jewels of Ancient Nubia contains useful materials for reference and research: an essay on “Materials and Techniques in Nubian Jewelry”; a curious essay on the history of the Nubian collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; a map and chronology of Nubian history; a notes and glossary section with an overview of key terms found throughout the catalogue; a suggested reading list; a list of illustrations; an acknowledgements section; and an index. The chronology and map are particularly useful to those unfamiliar with Nubia's long history. REVIEW: Nubia, known as Kush in antiquity, was a flourishing civilization for more than three millennia. It encompassed an area from south of Egypt to northern Sudan. Among the thousands of Nubian archaeological remains, their jewelry and personal adornment items stand out for their beauty, elegance, innovation, and technical mastery. Modern-day knowledge of the kingdom is limited to accounts contained in ancient Egyptian records. Even though Nubia was a rival and a frequent enemy, the Egyptians referred to it as “the gold lands” for its precious metal and mineral resources. The Nubians themselves left very few written accounts, and their language is yet to be deciphered and translated. Appreciation of this fascinating culture later suffered the Eurocentric favoring of Ancient Egypt, and the modern world has known little about the region until recently. Jewels of Ancient Nubia provides the first comprehensive introduction to Nubian history through its artifacts. The book features items made of gold, silver, and electrum (a natural gold and silver alloy) that illustrate the resources and the sophisticated goldsmithing techniques of the Nubian civilization. Similarly, local gems such as quartz, amazonite, ivory, mica, and malachite were used in many forms. There seems to have been an interest in lapis lazuli and carnelian beads, possibly influenced by the neighboring Egyptians. To the modern observer, the most outstanding jewelry pieces were created by glazing clear quartz. Faience, an ancient type of ceramic adopted from Egypt, was used to glaze quartz beads. In particular, they mastered the blue glazing technique, not only on beads but also on quartz sculptures and crystals. Quartz presumably held a deep religious significance for Nubians. These fascinating objects are beautifully photographed for the book and offer a visual delight. It is fascinating to learn about the ancients’ degree of sophistication in creating imitation gems. Yet some of the descriptions of gemstones, minerals and rocks do not justify the detailed research of the subject. For example, the term “amethystine” is outdated, yet surprisingly used in this modern publication. A number of mineral and rock descriptions given in the glossary are inconsistent with modern mineralogical and gemological terminology. But given the significance of this subject, the nomenclature issues do not detract from the importance of this publication and the quality of the authors’ work. Jewels of Ancient Nubia deserves a place in any gemologist and jewelry historian’s library. [Gemological Institute of America]. REVIEW: As the conduit between the Mediterranean world and lands south of the Nile Valley, Nubia was known for its exotic luxury goods—especially gold. “Jewels of Ancient Nubia” focuses on excavated ornaments from an early 20th-century expedition by the Museum with Harvard University, dating from 1700 BC to 300 AD, including both uniquely Nubian and foreign imports, prized for their materials, craftsmanship, symbolism, and rarity. “Gold and the Gods” includes more than one hundred treasures, including a gilt-silver mummy mask of Queen Malakaye and the famous Hathor-headed crystal pendant. The Museum of FIne Arts Boston is the only US museum able to mount an exhibition devoted solely to Nubian adornment drawing exclusively on its own collection. READER REVIEWS: REVIEW: Great pictures, good overview of other influences in area as affecting the jewelry designs. I always ship books Media Mail in a padded mailer. This book is shipped FOR FREE via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). All domestic shipments and most international shipments will include free USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site) and free insurance coverage. A small percentage of international shipments may require an additional fee for tracking and/or delivery confirmation. If you are concerned about a little wear and tear to the book in transit, I would suggest a boxed shipment - it is an extra $1.00. Whether via padded mailer or box, we will give discounts for multiple purchases. International orders are welcome, but shipping costs are substantially higher. Most international orders cost an additional $12.99 to $33.99 for an insuredshipment in a heavily padded mailer, and typically includes some form of rudimentary tracking and/or delivery confirmation (though for some countries, this is only available at additional cost). There is also a discount program which can cut postage costs by 50% to 75% if you’re buying about half-a-dozen books or more (5 kilos+). Rates and available services vary a bit from country to country. You can email or message me for a shipping cost quote, but I assure you they are as reasonable as USPS rates allow, and if it turns out the rate is too high for your pocketbook, we will cancel the sale at your request. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per book (for each additional book after the first) so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. All of our shipments are sent via insured mail so as to comply with PayPal requirements. We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. That’s why all of our domestic shipments (and most international) shipments include a USPS delivery confirmation tag; or are trackable or traceable, and all shipments (international and domestic) are insured. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs). Most of the items I offer come from the collection of a family friend who was active in the field of Archaeology for over forty years. However many of the items also come from purchases I make in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) from various institutions and dealers. Though I have always had an interest in archaeology, my own academic background was in sociology and cultural anthropology. After my retirement however, I found myself drawn to archaeology as well. Aside from my own personal collection, I have made extensive and frequent additions of my own via purchases on Ebay (of course), as well as many purchases from both dealers and institutions throughout the world - but especially in the Near East and in Eastern Europe. I spend over half of my year out of the United States, and have spent much of my life either in India or Eastern Europe. In fact much of what we generate on Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. I acquire some small but interesting collections overseas from time-to-time, and have as well some duplicate items within my own collection which I occasionally decide to part with. Though I have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, my primary interest is in ancient jewelry. My wife also is an active participant in the "business" of antique and ancient jewelry, and is from Russia. I would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Whenever I am overseas I have made arrangements for purchases to be shipped out via domestic mail. If I am in the field, you may have to wait for a week or two for a COA to arrive via international air mail. But you can be sure your purchase will arrive properly packaged and promptly - even if I am absent. And when I am in a remote field location with merely a notebook computer, at times I am not able to access my email for a day or two, so be patient, I will always respond to every email. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE."

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