Oxus Gold Treasure Ancient Tajikistan Uzbekistan Achaemenid Persia Coins Jewelry

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Seller: ancientgifts ✉️ (5,288) 100%, Location: Ferndale, Washington, US, Ships to: WORLDWIDE, Item: 383874587299 Oxus Gold Treasure Ancient Tajikistan Uzbekistan Achaemenid Persia Coins Jewelry. The Oxus Treasure (British Museum Objects in Focus) by John Curtis. 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: Softcover. Publisher: British Museum (2012). Pages: 64. Size: 8 x 5 ¾ inches. Shipping Weight: ½ pound. Summary: In May 1880 Captain F.C. Burton, a British political officer in Afghanistan, rescued a group of merchants who had been captured by bandits while traveling between Kabul and Peshawar. With them was a rich and impressive collection of gold and silver objects dating back to the fifth and fourth centuries BC. From the banks of the River Oxus, the entire hoard was, in due course, bequeathed to the British Museum. Consisting of around 170 objects, including vessels, a gold scabbard, armlets, coins and much more, the collection is an example of ancient goldsmithery at its very best. With exciting and descriptive insight placing the treasure into historical and cultural context, this book takes a closer look at the individual wonders that make up the Oxus Treasure one of the British Museums most celebrated and cherished collections. CONDITION: LIKE NEW. Unread (?) oversized softcover with cover flaps. British Museum (2012) 64 pages. Book appears to have never been read. Except for the fact that the front cover lifts easily (there was a bookseller's penciled inventory number on the underside of the front cover - erased without residual), the pages within are "unread tight". The books is unblemished except for faint edge and corner shelf wear to the covers. Pages are pristine; clean, crisp, unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound, assuredly unread. HOWEVER if if you hold the book up to a light source and inspect the front cover very intently, you can see a few minute impressions/divots/dimples. ALSO both the front and back cover (again if held up to a light source) show a little bit of rubbing and a faint impression left by the cover flaps which tuck beneath the covers. Condition is entirely consistent with new stock from a traditional brick-and-mortar bookstore environment wherein new books might show minor signs of shelfwear, 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! Meticulous and accurate descriptions! Selling rare and out-of-print ancient history books on-line since 1997. We accept returns for any reason within 30 days! #8867c. 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: A concise and beautifully illustrated introduction to the Oxus Treasure, the most important surviving collection of gold and silver from the Achaemenid era In May 1880 Captain F.C. Burton, a British political officer in Afghanistan, rescued a group of merchants who had been captured by bandits while traveling between Kabul and Peshawar. With them was a rich and impressive collection of gold and silver objects dating back to the fifth and fourth centuries BC. From the banks of the River Oxus, the entire hoard was, in due course, bequeathed to the British Museum. Consisting of around 170 objects, including vessels, a gold scabbard, armlets, coins and much more, the collection is an example of ancient goldsmithery at its very best. With exciting and descriptive insight placing the treasure into historical and cultural context, this book takes a closer look at the individual wonders that make up the Oxus Treasure – one of the British Museum’s most celebrated and cherished collections. REVIEW: John Curtis is Keeper of the Middle East collections at the British Museum. Mainly interested in archaeology and history of Iraq and Iran circa 1000-330 BC, John has directed a number of excavations on behalf of the British Museum. John has authored several books, including “Forgotten Empire: The World of Ancient Persia”, with Nigel Tallis (British Museum Press, 2005). TABLE OF CONTENTS: The Discovery. The Theft and Recovery of the Treasure. Description of the Treasure. Technical Analysis of the Treasure. The Art of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. Dating the Treasure. What Can We Deduce from the Treasure? PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: REVIEW: John Curtis, "The Oxus Treasure", British Museum Objects in Focus, London: British Museum Press, 2012, 64 pp., 38 color and 5 black-and-white illustrations. The author, Keeper of the Middle East collections at the British Museum, is the foremost living authority on the Oxus "Treasure," the most important surviving collection of Achaemenid Persian metalwork. It consists of about 180 objects (most other sources say 170 artifacts) dating, in the main, from the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. This was the era of the Achaemenid Empire, created by Cyrus the Great (559-530 B.C.), when the Persians controlled the vast area from Egypt and the Aegean to Afghanistan and the Indus Valley. The collection is an example of ancient goldsmithery at its very best. Curtis's slim volume provides the salient points about the Treasure (the British always capitalize the "T"). Following a contextual "Introduction," he provides the reader with a clear, well-illustrated text in which he summarizes the murky "discovery" of the Treasure; the story of its theft and recovery; how it came to the British Museum, followed by a description of the Treasure and results of a non-invasive technical analysis of the gold (presumably by XRF -- X-ray fluorescence but, alas, we are not fully informed about this).A brief essay on the art of the Achaemenid Persian Empire provides information regarding artistic style and potential provenience (location where it was fabricated), and another essay on its chronology. The final composition is "What can we deduce from the Treasure?" while a list of "Further Readings and Web Resources," includes ten print references and two Internet sites. Four of the readings are authored or coauthored by Curtis, four others by Russian archaeologist B. A. Litvinsky, and include Ormonde Maddock Dalton's (1866-1945) scholarly classic The Treasure of the Oxus, with Other Objects from Ancient Persia and India, revised 3rd ed., London (1964). The salient facts are that the Treasure appears to have been collected over a long period (1876-1880) and perhaps from the illegal excavation of a temple ruin. The Treasure was found on the banks of the River Oxus, likely at the site of Takht-i Kuwad, a ferry station on the north bank of the river near the border of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan just across the riverine frontier with Afghanistan. Objects purloined from archaeological sites were often sold by the locals to traveling merchants. The collection included 51 gold dedicatory plaques made from thin sheet gold, human and animal figurines in gold and silver, a gold scabbard for a dagger, a bow case, model chariots and figures, stamps and seals made of gold or carved semiprecious stone (carnelian and chalcedony), gold finger-rings, personal objects (armlets, griffin-headed bracelets, and torcs or neck rings), small gold plaques for decorating clothing, gold vessels (a jug and bowls), and coins. Similar bracelets and armlets are seen on palace reliefs from Persepolis being given as tribute gifts and honorifics at the Persian court. In May 1880, in the aftermath of the Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878-1880) Captain Francis Charles Burton, a British political officer in Afghanistan rescued a group of merchants who had been attacked by bandits while traveling between Kabul and Peshawar. They were carrying with them a collection of gold and silver objects. Burton bought from them a gold armlet, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum. The merchants then continued to Rawalpindi to sell the rest of the Treasure. Other pieces of the Treasure subsequently were found in the bazaars of Rawalpindi. Some were acquired for the British Museum by Major-General Sir Alexander Cunningham (1814-1893), Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India, and others were obtained by Sir Augustus Wollaston Franks, a museum curator and benefactor. Franks bought Cunningham's share of the treasure, and eventually the entire Oxus treasure was bequeathed by him to the British Museum. It is one of the museum's most celebrated and cherished collections. READER REVIEWS: REVIEW: Authoritative and beautifully illustrated, the perfect booklet about the famed Oxus Treasure for the general reader interested in world history. Dr. Kolb's comments are pertinent. ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND: REVIEW: On rare occasions, all that glisters is indeed gold, as the British captain F C Burton discovered when he rescued a group of merchants from bandits on the road from Kabul to Peshawar in the spring of 1880. Intrigued by the treasure the merchants carried, Burton purchased from them a gold lion- and griffin-headed armlet and alerted colonial colleagues to scour the markets of Rawalpindi where the merchants were thought to be headed. Major-General Sir Alexander Cunningham, director general of the Archaeological Survey of India, and Sir Augustus Wollaston Franks, a curator of the British Museum, managed to reunite around 170 gold and silver artifacts from the original treasure hoard, including vessels, coins, armlets and rings, and a beautifully intricate figurine of a charioteer.The Oxus Treasure is the most important surviving collection of Achaemenid Persian metalwork and it dates from the 5th-4th centuries bc when the Achaemenid empire stretched from Egypt in the west to the Indus Valley in the east. Though the exact site of its discovery is unknown, it is thought to have been found on the riverbank at Takht-i Kuwad, and archaeologists have subsequently hypothesised that it would have originally been collected and stored at the Oxus Temple in Takht-i Sangin. Today the Oxus Treasure takes pride of place in the Ancient Iran gallery at the British Museum, where it was bequeathed by Franks upon his death in 1897. President Rahmon called for its return to Tajikistan in 2010, but this is unlikely to occur. REVIEW: The magnificent Oxus Treasure is the most important surviving collection of Persian Achaemenid treasure. Housed in the British Museum, it consists of 180 exquisite objects in gold and silver. One of the earliest pieces in the Treasure is a gold scabbard, embossed with scenes showing a lion hunt. These hunting scenes are reminiscent of Assyrian reliefs from the mid-7th century BC. There are many magnificent objects in the Oxus Treasure, but among the best known are a pair of gold armlets, with the terminals in the form of winged griffins with horns, originally inlaid with glass and coloured stones. An outstanding piece is a model of a chariot pulled by four horses; in the chariot are a driver and a passenger wearing Median dress. Another much larger figure in silver is of a nude youth, wearing a Persian headdress, but his nudity indicates Greek influence. Other items include gold cups, a silver bowl with a rosette in the centre and radiating petals and a gold jug with a handle ending in a lion's mask. The largest single group of material is a collection of thin gold plaques ranging in height from 2 cm to 50 cm. Most have chased outlines of human figures, possibly of priests. The plaques are votive and they and the other objects in the Treasure have the appearance of material that was dedicated to a temple over a period of centuries Originally associated with the Treasure were about 1,500 coins covering a span of about 300 years down to the early second century, which indicates that the treasure was buried about 200 BC. Local people found the treasure in the sands of the Oxus (Amu Darya) in the 1870s, probably at Takht-i Kuwat, which is close to Takht-i Sangin. Gold vessel in the form of a fish possibly a carp that may have been used to store oil Persian Oxus Treasure 5th-4th century BCE"A large part of the treasure was nearly lost in 1880 and only recovered by chance in extraordinary, even bizarre circumstances. According to O.M. Dalton, whose 1905 catalogue of the Oxus Treasure remains the basic publication, in May of that year three merchants from Bokhara, who presumably bought the treasure from local villagers, were traveling with it from Kabul to Peshawar. East of Kabul they were attacked by local tribesmen, who seized them and the Treasure. However, their servant was able to escape and raised the alarm in the camp of Captain E C. Burton, a political officer in Afghanistan. Burton set off with two orderlies and came across the robbers in a cave shortly before midnight. They were in the process of dividing up their spoil and were already quarreling over it. Four were lying wounded. We are told that "a parley ensued", as a result of which much of the Treasure was given up to Burton. The next day he threatened to lead a force against the robbers, which persuaded them to bring in another large part of the Treasure. In this way about three quarters was restored to the merchants and, as a token of their gratitude, they allowed Burton to purchase the large gold armlet subsequently acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum." The merchants continued on their journey to Peshawar and eventually sold the treasure in Rawalpindi. Part of it was acquired from dealers there by Major General Sir Alexander Cunningham, Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India. Cunningham in turn sold the pieces to Sir Augustus Wollaston Franks, who on his death in 1897 bequeathed them to the British Museum.REVIEW: The Oxus treasure is a collection of about 180 surviving pieces of metalwork in gold and silver, the majority rather small, plus perhaps about 200 coins, from the Achaemenid Persian period which were found by the Oxus river (a major river flowing into the Aral Sea in Central Asia) about 1877-1880. The exact place and date of the find remain unclear, and it is likely that many other pieces from the hoard were melted down for bullion. Early reports suggest there were originally some 1500 coins, and mention types of metalwork that are not among the surviving pieces. The metalwork is believed to date from the sixth to fourth centuries BC, but the coins show a greater range, with some of those believed to belong to the treasure coming from around 200 BC. The most likely origin for the treasure is that it belonged to a temple, where votive offerings were deposited over a long period. How it came to be deposited is unknown. As a group, the treasure is the most important survival of what was once an enormous production of Achaemenid work in precious metal. It displays a very wide range of quality of execution, with the many gold votive plaques mostly crudely executed, some perhaps by the donors themselves, while other objects are of superb quality, presumably that expected by the court. The British Museum now has nearly all the surviving metalwork, with one of the pair of griffin-headed bracelets on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum, and displays them in Room 52. The group arrived at the museum by different routes, with many items bequeathed to the nation by Augustus Wollaston Franks. The coins are more widely dispersed, and more difficult to firmly connect with the treasure. A group believed to come from it is in the Hermitage Museum in Saint Peterburg, and other collections have examples. Achaemenid style arose rapidly with the very quick growth of the huge empire, which swallowed up the artistic centres of the ancient Near East and much of the Greek world, and mixed influences and artists from these. Although continuing influences from these sources can often be detected the Achaemenids formed a distinct style of their own. The griffin-headed bracelets from the hoard are typical of the 5th to 4th century BC court style of Achaemenid Persia. Bracelets of a similar form to ones from the treasure can be seen on reliefs from Persepolis being given as tribute, whilst Xenophon writes that armlets (among other things) were gifts of honour at the Persian court. Glass, enamel or semi-precious stone inlays within the bracelets' hollow spaces have now been lost. Sir John Boardman regards the gold scabbard, decorated with tiny figures showing a lion hunt, as pre-Achaemenid Median work of about 600 BC, drawing on Assyrian styles, though other scholars disagree, and the British Museum continues to date it to the 5th or 4th centuries. The surviving objects, an uncertain proportion of the original finds, can be divided into a number of groups. There are a number of small figurines, some of which may have been detached from larger objects. The single male figures appear to show worshippers rather than deities. The largest is most unusual for Persian art in showing a nude youth (in silver) standing in a formal pose, with a large conical hat covered in gold foil. The statuette shows Greek influence, in the figure and the fact of being nude, but is not typical of ancient Greek art. Two hollow gold heads of young males, rather crudely executed, probably belonged to composite statues with the main body in wood or some other material.One figure in silver and gold has a headdress that suggests he may be a king. Other sculptural objects include two model chariots in gold, one incomplete, plus figures of a horse and a rider that may belong to this or other model groups, as may two other horses cut out from sheet gold. The wheels of the complete chariot would originally have turned freely, and it had received at least one repair in antiquity. It is pulled by four horses (rather small, and with only nine legs surviving between them) and carries two figures, a driver and a seated passenger, both wearing torcs. The chariot has handrails at the open rear to assist getting in and out, while the solid front carries the face of the protective Egyptian dwarf-god Bes. A leaping ibex was probably the handle of an amphora-type vase, and compares with handles shown on tribute vessels in the Persepolis reliefs, as well as an example now in the Louvre. The two griffin-headed bracelets or armlets are the most spectacular pieces by far, despite lacking their stone inlays. There are a number of other bracelets, some perhaps torcs for the neck, several with simpler animal head terminals variously depicting goats, ibex, sheep, bulls, ducks, lions, and fantastic creatures. Many have inlays, or empty cells for them; it used to be thought that this technique was acquired from Ancient Egyptian jewellery (as in some of Tutankhamun's grave goods), but Assyrian examples are now known. There are 12 finger rings with flat bezels engraved for use as signet rings, and two stone cylinder seals, one finely carved with a battle scene. The griffin-headed bracelets were also the most complex objects to manufacture, being cast in several elements, then worked in many different techniques, and soldered together. Some of the surfaces are very thin, and show signs of damage, and in one place repair with a soldered patch. A "Gold plaque in the form of a lion-griffin, with the body of an ibex and a leaf-shaped tail", with missing inlay, has two prongs behind for attaching it, and may have been an ornament for a cap or the hair, or part of an object. The animal's legs are folded beneath its body in a way characteristic of the Scythian animal style of the southern Russian steppes, an influence also seen in other pieces such a ring with a lion. A stylized birds-head ornament can be recognised, like the finely-decorated scabbard of "Median" shape, as very similar to that of a soldier from a Persepolis relief, where it forms the crest to his bow-case. These seem to be the only items relating to weapons, though other pieces may have decorated horse harness. Another group of plaques were probably bracteates intended to be sewn onto clothing through the small holes round their edges. These have a variety of motifs, including the face of the Egyptian dwarf-god Bes, lion-griffins, a sphinx, and a cut-out figure apparently showing a king. The British Museum has 51 thin gold plaques with incised designs, which are regarded as votive plaques left by devotees at a temple as an offering to the deity. They are mostly rectangular with the designs in a vertical format, and range from 2 to 20 cm tall. Most show a single human figure facing left, many carrying a bunch of twigs called a barsom used in offerings; these probably represent the offeror. The dress of the figures shows the types known as "Median" and "Persian" to modern historians, and the quality of the execution is mostly relatively low, but varies greatly, with some appearing to have been incised by amateurs. Three show animals, a horse, a donkey and a camel; possibly it was their health that was the subject of the offering. One large figure is in shallow relief within its incised outline.The London group includes bowls, a gold jug, and a handle from a vase or ewer in the form of a leaping ibex, which is similar to a winged Achaemenid handle in the Louvre. No rhyton drinking vessels were found, but the British Museum has two other Achaemenid examples, one ending in a griffin's head similar to that on the bracelets in the treasure. A hollow gold fish, apparently representing a species of carp found only in the Oxus, has a hole at its mouth and a loop for suspension; it may have contained oil or perfume, or hung as one of a group of pendants. The association of surviving coins with the treasure is less generally accepted than for the other items, and O. M. Dalton of the British Museum, author of the monograph on the treasure, was reluctant to identify any specific coins as part of it, while Sir Alexander Cunningham (see below) disagreed, identifying about 200. The Russian scholar E.V. Zeymal associated 521 surviving coins with the treasure, without extending the terminus post quem for deposition of the treasure beyond Cunningham's figure of about 180 B.C. The coins associated with the treasure include examples from various Achaemenid mints and dates, but also later ones from after the conquest of the Empire by Alexander the Great, with the latest being of the reigns of Antiochus the Great (reigned 223-187 BC) and Euthydemus I of Bactria (reigned 235-200 BC). The treasure was evidently discovered by local people somewhere on the north bank of the Oxus in what is today Tajikistan but was in the 1870s in the Emirate of Bokhara, which was in the process of being swallowed up by the Russian Empire. Then as now, the south bank of the Oxus was Afghanistan; at the period when the treasure originated the whole area was part of the Persian Empire. The approximate area of the discovery is fairly clear; it was near, perhaps some three miles south of, Takhti-Sangin, where an important temple was excavated by Soviet archaeologists in the 20th century, producing a large number of finds of metalwork and other objects, which seem to have been deposited from about 300 BC to as late as the third century AD. While it is tempting to connect the temple and treasure, as some scholars have proposed, the range of objects found, and a founding date for the temple proposed by the excavators of about 300 BC, do not neatly match up. The area was a major ancient crossing point for the Oxus, and the treasure may have come from further afield.The first mention in print of the treasure was an article in a Russian newspaper in 1880, written by a Russian general who in 1879 was in the area enquiring into the Trans-Caspian railway that the Russians had just begun to construct. He recounted that local reports said that treasure had been found in the ruins of an ancient fort called "Takht-i Kuwad", which was sold to Indian merchants. A later report by Sir Alexander Cunningham, the British general and archaeologist who was the first Director of the Archaeological Survey of India, described the finds, which he said began in 1877, as being in the river itself, "scattered about in the sands of the river", in a place exposed in the dry season, though another account he later gave, based on new information, rather confused the issue. Cunningham acquired many pieces himself through dealers in northern India (modern Pakistan). Another account by a British general owning some objects said that they had been discovered in 1876, exposed by "a land slip of the river bank". Hopeful diggers continued to excavate the site for years afterwards, and perhaps objects continued to be found; accounts from locals mention many gold "idols", a gold tiger, and other objects not tallying with the surviving pieces. One large group of objects, perhaps the bulk of the treasure, was bought from locals by three merchants from Bokhara in 1880, who unwisely left their convoy on the road south from Kabul to Peshawar and were captured by Afghan tribesmen, who carried them and their goods into the hills, but allowed a servant of the merchants to escape. News of the episode reached Captain Francis Charles Burton, a British political officer in Afghanistan, who immediately set out with two orderlies. About midnight he came upon the robbers, who had already begun to fight among themselves, presumably over the division of the loot, with four of them lying wounded on the ground. The treasure was spread out on the floor of the cave they were sheltered in. In a parlay Burton recovered a good part of the treasure, and later a further portion, which he restored to the merchants.In gratitude, they sold him the bracelet which he sold to the Victoria and Albert Museum (now on loan to the British Museum) for £1,000 in 1884. The merchants then continued to Rawalpindi in modern Pakistan to sell the rest of the Treasure; Cunningham acquired many of these pieces, and though dealers, Franks others. The robbers evidently considered the objects as bullion, and had cut up some larger ones, such as a gold scabbard now in the British Museum.[33] Other pieces may have been cut up in antiquity (like hacksilver), or upon discovery at the site. Franks later bought Cunningham's collection, and bequeathed all his objects to the British Museum at his death in 1897. The incomplete model chariot and a detached figure of a rider were presented to the Viceroy of India at the time, Robert Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton (son of the bestselling novelist) by Sir Louis Cavagnari, the British representative in Kabul after the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Cavagnari, his mission and their guards were all massacred in Kabul on 3 September 1879. Lytton's rider was acquired by the British Museum in 1931, and the chariot group in 1953. The Achaemenid kings, at least after Cyrus the Great and Cambyses, describe themselves in inscriptions as worshippers of Ahuramazda, but it is not clear if their religious practice included Zoroastrianism. It is also evident that it was not the Persian way to impose the royal religious beliefs on their subjects (as for example the Jews, whose religious practices were not interfered with after they were conquered). Other Persian cults were the worship of Mithra and of Zurvan, and other local cults seem to have continued under the empire. The religious context of the treasure is unclear, although it is thought to have come from a temple. Comparable objects in the "Apadama" reliefs at Persepolis: armlets, bowls, and amphorae with griffin handles are given as tribute. The circumstances of the discovery and trading of the pieces, and their variety of styles and quality of workmanship, cast some doubt on their authenticity from the start, and "necessitate a cautious treatment of the Oxus Treasure, for it has passed through places of evil repute and cannot have come out quite unscathed", as Dalton put it in 1905. Indeed, Dalton records that Indian dealers initially made copies of items and tried to pass them off to Franks, who though not deceived, bought some "at a small percentage over the gold value" and then received the genuine objects, which were easily distinguished. Considerable comfort has been received from the objects' similarity to later Achaemenid finds, many excavated under proper archaeological conditions, which the Oxus Treasure certainly was not. In particular, finds of jewellery including armlets and torcs in a tomb at Susa by a French expedition from 1902 onwards (now in the Louvre) are closely similar to the Oxus finds.As the quality and style of the objects was generally considered to have stood the test of time, concerns over the antiquity of the great majority of the objects reduced over the years. The issue was revived in 2003 when the archaeologist Oscar Muscarella, employed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York for 40 years, was reported in The Times, in a story by Peter Watson, to have "labelled as mostly fake" the treasure. However he was attacked by the Director of the Metropolitan, Philippe de Montebello, who said Muscarella, a long-standing critic of museums' tolerance and even encouragement of the trade in illegal antiquities, only remained there because of the "exigencies of academic tenure", and was himself criticised for suppressing debate. In an article on the Oxus Treasure published in 2003 Muscarella goes nothing like as far, but does fiercely attack the assumed unity of the treasure and the narratives of its provenience, and is sceptical of the authenticity of some of the votive plaques (especially the largest in the illustration above). In 2007, Emomalii Rahmon, President of Tajikistan, was reported as calling for the repatriation of the treasure, despite the fact that it had been recovered and sold by local peoples and acquired by museums in the art market.[43] However, no formal claim has been made by the Tajik government, and in 2013, "high-quality golden replicas" of pieces from the Oxus Treasure were presented to the Tajik government by the British Museum, intended for the new Tajik National Museum. REVIEW: The gold model chariot on the cover of the book was discovered by a group of merchants around the River Oxus in present-day Tajikistan along with 170 other objects made of gold and silver between 1876 and 1880. Collectively known as the Oxus Treasure, the pieces are considered to be the most important surviving artifacts of the Achaemenid period of the Persian Empire. Symbolic of the multiculturalism of the Persian Empire under, and after, Cyrus the Great, the piece features two figures wearing the garbs of the Medes from Iran and the face of the Egyptian god of protection Bes on the front of the chariot. The exact purpose of the model is unknown and at the center of scholarly debate; some believed it to be a toy, others surmise it was an offering to a temple. Currently, the Oxus Treasure, including a second incomplete gold model chariot, resides in The British Museum. In "The Oxus Treasure in The British Museum," John Curtis, a specialist in Iranian archaeology and art, notes that numerous pieces from the Oxus Treasure possessed a composition of "alluvial gold alloyed with a little copper and possibly silver". This is true for the model chariot as well. According to Aude Mongiatti, the Conservator of the British Museum, microscopic specks of iridium and osmium are also present in the gold of two of the horses' bodies, which is considered common of gold that is panned from river sands. The copper, however, was purposely added to "harden" the gold, which is considered to be a "soft metal," and to ultimately create a more durable finished product. The process by which the model was created showed exceptional artistry and expertise on the part of the craftsman. Both men and the four horses were hollow and the products of portions of gold sheet being "cut out" and "soldered" together; the bodies were created by "hammering" these pieces of gold into molds. The intricate details, such as facial features and clothes, were delicately added later. For the chariot, the goldsmith molded the shape out of a sheet of gold. Wire was used for the reins and the rims and spokes of each of the wheels, all of which were fully functioning. The charioteer and nobleman are also attached to the chariot by wires; the feet of the driver are connected to the chariot's floor while his passenger is fixed to a strip of gold that acts as his seat. Because of the vast amount of cultures and land that came under Cyrus the Great's Persian Empire, it is difficult to pinpoint an exact location as to the origin of the materials used to make model chariot, and by extension the general Oxus Treasure; however, the area of Bactria, an eastern section of the empire in present-day Afghanistan, is a likely candidate for the large amounts of gold64, xvii-xviii, xx]. If this is true, the model chariot did not travel far as it was thought to have been re-discovered Tajikistan by 19th century merchants before being brought back through Afghanistan to be traded. According to the British Museum, it eventually acquired the treasure when Sir Augustus Wollaston Frank, curator of the Museum, bought pieces of it from bazaars in India and Major-General Sir Alexander Cunningham, the Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India. According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Achaemenid Persian Empire, consummated in 550 BCE with Cyrus the Great's victory of King Astyages' Median Empire, was the largest in ancient human history. This subsequently led to the Cyrus' conquering of the Lydian, Egyptian, and Babylonian empires. Unfortunately, the majority of historical records regarding the Empire come from contemporary Greeks. However, the assorted influences of these conquered empires in Persian art and architecture have been able to further explain the history of the Persian Empire. Since its discovery, numerous theories have been put forth about the reasons behind the amassing of this treasure and the constructing of its individual pieces. One prominent theory holds that the collection is a hoard of a temple or shrine. In regards to the chariot model, Perry notes that some scholars have noted that the image of the Egyptian god Bes, sometimes connected to Egyptian children, may suggest that it was toy of an elite's child. Some scholars believed that it could have been a soldier's offering in hopes of protection during battle. Keeper of the British and Medieval Antiquities Department at the British Museum, O.M. Dalton, however, believed otherwise. Focusing on the chariot's interior structure, Dalton notes that the noble occupant is forced to sit facing sideways and that there is no back to the chariot; therefore, the chariot was likely not used for battle or "the pursuit of wild beasts," but rather "peaceful excursions".Furthermore, the seated nobleman, whom Dalton believes may have been a satrap, is considerably larger than the charioteer. This difference in size was meant to "render distinctions of rank" by showing "important persons on a larger scale than the rest". This purposeful skewing of this upper class figure heavily suggests the person who commissioned, or was the recipient of, the model chariot was a himself a member of the nobility. This could likely fit with a separate theory that the treasure had initially belonged to an "old-established" Bactrian family who added to the horde with each successive generation. According to the British Museum, this particular model chariot is comparable to the one that Persian Emperor Darius I is shown riding on a cylinder seal. In an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation, Shahrokh Razmjou, curator of the British Museum, stated that the gold model chariot should act as "a reminder of the massive networks of Persian roads and highways which connected remote places...from Central Asia and India to Europe and Africa." Driven by the Achaemenid dynasty's fervent multiculturalism and tolerance, these far-reaching trade routes allowed peaceful spreading and embracing of different fashions, religions, and precious metal. In doing so, many of these foreign influences manifested into this particular model chariot. In a move hailed as a "masterpiece of administrative genius," Darius I, son and successor of Cyrus the Great, employed twenty provincial governors, known as satraps, to collect taxes and tributes and rule the empire on localized levels [Dalton 1964, xxiv]. These payments of tributes likely furthered the spread of ingenious culture and economic influences. For instance, satraps were sent to both of the kingdoms of Media and Bactria, whose influences (along with a motley of others) on the model chariot are well documented. As mentioned above, there is a possibility that the nobleman sitting in the model chariot is meant to be a satrap. Upon examining the model chariot, scholars noted that the use of four horses, as opposed to two, was influenced by societies as far west as Syria]. The goldsmith's use of abnormally small horses when much of the Persian Empire's land catered to the large Nisaean horses was inspired by chariot models of Cyprus, Greece at the time. The "belted tunic," necklaces, caps, and robes of the charioteer and his passenger in the model chariot are described as typical of the Median dress at the time. In fact, similar Median "costume" is dawned by kings on monuments dating back to the Achaemenid dynasty. According to the British Museum, the face that adorns the front of the chariot is that of the Egyptian dwarf-god Bes, a deity who symbolized protection. ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND: Ancient Jewelry: The art of the jeweler. Metalsmiths' shops were the training schools for many of the great artists of the Renaissance. Brunelleschi, Botticelli, Verrocchio, Ghi-berti, Pollaiuolo, and Luca della Robbia all were trained as goldsmiths before they embarked upon the higher arts. The goldsmith made silver vases for the dinner tables of cardinals; knights sent sword blades to be mounted in rich hilts; ladies came to have their jewels set; princes needed medals to commemorate their victories; popes and bishops wished to place chased reliquaries on the altars of their patron saints; and men of fashion ordered medallions to wear upon their hats. Although many materials-including iron-have been used for jewelry, gold is by far the most satisfactory. One could not expect the same results from any other metal, for the durability and the extraordinary ductility and pliancy of gold and its property of being readily drawn out or flattened into wire or leaf of almost infinite fineness have led to its being used for works in which minute-ness and delicacy of execution were required. Gold may be soldered, it may be cast, and any kind of surface, from the rough to the highest possible polish, given to it. It is the best of all metals upon which to enamel. Gold was easily retrieved from the gravel of river beds, where it was washed from the eroded rocks; hence it is one of the oldest metals known. Unlike most metals, gold does not tarnish on exposure to the air but remains brilliant. Pure gold is too soft for general use, but it can be hardened and toughened by alloying with most of the other metals. Color is one of its important qualities. When the metal is pure, it is nearly the orange-yellow of the solar spectrum. When it contains a little silver, it is pale yellow or greenish yellow; and when alloyed with a little copper, it takes a reddish tinge-all so effective in varicolored jewelry. These alloys have an ancient history, electrum, an alloy of gold and silver which assured beautiful hues, having been used by the Egyptians, Greeks, and other ancient peoples. The ancients, from the most remote times, were acquainted with the art of beating gold into thin leaves, and this leaf was used for other purposes besides personal adornment. Gold leaf was used in buildings for gilding wood, and Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans were adepts in applying it. It was no great departure to introduce gilded backgrounds to paintings or figures in mosaic and finally to illuminated manuscripts. In the use of gold Byzantium went beyond Rome or Athens. When more skill was attained by painters, backgrounds in perspective took the place of those in gold. Early examples of leaf work in this exhibition may be seen in the headdress and jewelry of Queen Shubad's ladies-in-waiting from the excavations of the royal tombs at Ur in Mesopotamia. They date from a period between 3500 and 2800 B.C. A second step was the cutting of gold leaf into thin strips to make wire. It is still a question whether the art of wire-drawing was known to the ancients. Plaited wire-work, as used in many places and over a wide period of time, is well represented in ancient history. Fusing and soldering are also ancient techniques. Granular work, the soldering of minute grains of gold one beside the other in a line or disposed ornamentally over a surface, was known to the ancient Egyptian jewelers, as well as to the classical, oriental, and barbarian gold-smiths. This traditional technique can be traced through the centuries, splendid granular work of the ancient and modern civilizations being well represented in archaeological finds. Filigree, the arranging of wires in patterns, usually soldered to a base, is often associated with granular work. The oriental nations, especially the Moors, knew how to execute filigree with rare delicacy and taste, this technique adapting itself particularly to their designs. Embossing and chasing are techniques of widespread use. The relief effect of embossing is produced by various means. A thin pliable sheet of metal may be pressed into molds, between dies, or over stamps, or it may be molded free hand. An excellent example of an embossed gold sheet which was pressed or hammered may be seen in the Greek sword sheath from South Russia. In handwork the sheet of metal is placed against a ground with a yielding surface and the design is raised from the back by a series of punches. The work of the chaser is closely related to that of the sculptor, the ornament on the face of a casting or an embossed work being finished with chisels or chasing tools. Jewelry was often enriched by stamping, a simple process by which a design is made in depression with a punch, and the gold fixed by heating to redness; and the surface finally burnished. In all countries the work of the lapidary was combined with that of the goldsmith. Much jewelry depended for its splendor of effect chiefly upon its inlay of brilliantly colored stones, jaspers, agates, lapis lazuli. Much of the commoner kinds of jewelry, such as buckles for the belts of warriors or brooches for the vestments of ecclesiastics too poor to buy silver or gold, were made of bronze, enameled and mercury-gilded. Mercury-gilding is a process of great antiquity. The object was first carefully polished and rubbed with mercury; thin gold was then laid on and pressed down, the mercury being subsequently volatilized, and so forth, or upon colored glass inlays. The Egyptians and Greeks were incomparable artists in intaglio (cutting concave designs or figures) in gold, and one notes with astonishment the mastery they possessed over the stubborn hard stones, including the sapphire. A Greek gold ring with an intaglio engraving of a girl stretching herself is one of the finest in ancient history. The engraver's art both in cameo and in intaglio attained a high degree of excellence about 500 B.C., which lasted until about the third or fourth century A.D. The classical artists used rich and warm-tinted oriental stones, the increased intercourse with the East after the death of Alexander the Great having a marked influence on the development of the art. In gem-engraving the ancients used essentially the same principle that is in use today, that is, drilling with a revolving tool. They also used a sapphire or diamond point set in a handle and applied like a graver. In early medieval times gem-engraving was little practiced, but antique cameos were held in peculiar veneration on ac-count of the belief, then universal, in their potency as medicinal charms. With the Renaissance, the art of gem-engraving was revived, and engravers from that time onward have produced results equal to the best ancient work. Glass in ancient times was so precious that some nations demanded tribute in this fragile material instead of gold. It is said that a citizen invented a method for making malleable glass and was invited to visit the Roman Emperor Tiberius. He brought a vase, which was thrown to the ground but only dented. A hammer again rounded it into shape. Tiberius then asked whether any other man knew the secret of manufacture. The artisan answered no, whereupon the emperor ordered him beheaded. Glass inlay, widely used from Egyptian times, is often wrongly called enamel. It is not enamel, which, although a vitreous material, is employed in the powdered state and always fused into position by heat, whereas the glass inlay was always cut or molded and cemented into position. This glass inlay is often referred to as paste, which in the modern sense means glass with a high refractive index and high luster employed to imitate the diamond. Good examples of paste may be seen in some eighteenth-century English and French. For centuries Egypt was the “promised land” of the ancient civilized world, for the Pharaohs had at their disposal enormous stores of gold. The Egyptians excelled in metal-work, especially in gold, and many techniques employed by goldsmiths today can be seen in ancient Egyptian jewelry, particularly for instance the treasure of el Thuin, which was recovered in its entirety and in nearly the same perfect condition in which it had been placed in the tomb; or the jewelry which had once graced the person of the Princess Sit Hathor Yuinet, daughter of King Se'n-Wosret II, who reigned from 1906 to 1887 B.C. and near whose pyramid, at el Lahfin, she was buried. Her girdle, one of the outstanding pieces of ancient jewelry, is of amethyst beads and hollow gold panther-head ornaments, inside which pellets tinkled whenever the wearer moved. From the same treasure there is the neck-lace with a pectoral of King Se'n-Wosret II. On either side of the pectoral the hawk of the god Horus supports the cartouche of the king and a group of hieroglyphics which signify, "May King Se'n-Wosret II live many hundreds of thousands of years." The pectoral is gold inlaid with lapis lazuli, carnelian, and turquoise, and the eyes of the shape made of actual flowers, fruits, and leaves, which were presented to guests to wear at banquets and other festivities. Brilliant color is one of the most attractive characteristics of Egyptian jewelry. It had its origin in the beads, both of semi-precious stones and of faience, which were widely worn during the Old Kingdom (2800-2270 B.C.). Beads of faience of different colors were also in fashion during the XVIII Dynasty. The composition of the broad collars of faience of this period was derived from ornaments of the same engraving, soldering, and metal intaglio. The Greek jeweler, like the Egyptian, excelled in the arts of embossing and chasing. Greece had little access to precious stones before Alexander's Eastern conquests, and so from the sixth to the fourth century B.C. the jeweler specialized in metalwork. He was a master of both granulated and filigree decoration, and he did exquisite work in plaiting gold into chains and in modeling it into little figures, both human and animal. Much of the best of Greek jewelry is sculpture in little. Ornamental goldwork naturally required more minute workman ship than sculpture in bronze and marble, and excellent modeling often makes little objects impressive as well as intricate. A few famous examples of ancient Greek jewelry, such as an earring in the form of a siren, is a charming example of Greek jeweler's modeling. Other examples include a pair of earrings of the fourth century B.C. from Madytos on the Hellespont, as well as an eagle and a palmette made of hammered gold sheets; the feathers of the eagle are incised; each leaf is edged with beaded wire; and the fruit is covered with granulation. Another example might be a bracelet, of rock crystal, with gold finials, each finely embossed with a ram's head, which shows skillfully modeled figures, as well as plaited chains, and filigree and granular work of rare minuteness. The Ganymede jewelry, made soon after 350 B.C., is one of the most precious sets that have come out of antiquity. Most techniques are represented on the earrings, bracelets, brooches, necklace, and emerald ring. On the earrings the figures of Ganymede are solid castings; Ganymede's drapery, the wings and tail. The technique of Etruscan goldwork is much the same as that of the Greek. The metal is thin, it is pressed or beaten out in designs in low relief, and it is further decorated by the surface application of filigree and small granules of gold. Several molds of stone have been discovered, and it is probable that the thin gold was pressed into the mold by means of a metal or agate style, solder being used to fix the separate pieces of gold together whenever necessary. Some of the granulated work is so fine that without a magnifying glass it is almost impossible to believe that the patterns are actually laid on with an infinite number of minute spherical grains. The burial chamber of an Etruscan lady, near Vulci, opened over a century ago, yielded a rich parure. Archaeologists have recovered several headdresses reflecting the custom Chinese women had of decking their hair with floral ornaments. These are richly colored, and some of the materials used in them, besides gold, are amber, coral, seed pearls, and an exclusively Chinese material-bright blue kingfisher feathers. In Chinese jewelry the art of the metal-worker achieves an exquisite delicacy. A famous golden phoenix crown shows perhaps most clearly of all the works in the exhibition the ability of the goldsmith to take infinite pains. It has more than thirty separate ornaments, made of different con-formations of gold wire and decorated with pearls and other stones. Many of the ornaments are set on tiny springs so that they quiver with the slightest movement. jade, exquisitely carved. With the exception of pearls, the Chinese did not use precious stones. The prettiness and color of Chinese jewelry tempt one to describe it at length, but according to a Chinese proverb, "A thousand words do not compare with one look." The Japanese also rank high as metalworkers, their sword furniture, the jewelry of the Japanese nobleman, especially showing the subtle skill of the artist in manipulating hard and soft metals. In enriching the fittings many processes of metal ornamentation-relief carving, relief inlay or appliqué, overlay, incised and recessed carving-are employed. It is the combination of techniques and alloys which makes their work of outstanding interest to jewelers as well as to the amateur. Today these fittings are often worn as jewelry in the West. In Japan sword furniture is frequently signed by masters as well known as famous painters. A glance at the magnificent weapons from Persia, Turkey, and India will remove any impression that the love of personal adornment is a purely feminine attribute. Orientals often wear daggers embellished with silver and semiprecious stones even over their most ragged clothes, which shows that they take life with a gesture. In India perhaps more than anywhere else, jewelry has played a vital role in the life of the people, from the lowest rank to the highest. Although none of the Indian jewelry is much older than the eighteenth century, it represents designs and methods of decoration that go back to much earlier periods, some of them reflecting the influence of Hellenistic civilization. Some pieces are made of gold or silver alone, others are richly set with diamonds, rubies, and emeralds or decorated with enamel. The Greek jeweler, like the Egyptian, excelled in the arts of embossing, chasing, Much of this jewelry was made in Jaipur, which was particularly famous for its enamelwork. A gold bracelet with dragon-head terminals is an outstanding example of combined jeweled and enameled work. The backs of jeweled ornaments were often enameled with fine patterns, so that the reverse of a necklace or pendant would be as fine in effect as the right side. The jewelry of the nomadic Iranian tribes is represented by a few choice pieces cast in gold and chased. These include many Scythian ornaments, winged griffins, stags, and rosettes, which were used as decoration on clothing; and two clasps of about the first century A.D., Sarmatian and Parthian in origin. The Middle Ages are perhaps best represented by an extensive collection of jewelry from the Morgan collection, of the period of the barbarian migrations and of the Byzantine period. The gold ornaments in the Albanian Treasure (seventh-ninth century) are thought to be the work of nomad craftsmen in the train of barbarian tribes migrating through the Balkans from Central Asia. The splendid collections of Gallo-Roman, Germanic, and Merovingian jewelry, distinctive features of which are the colored glass inlays and the filigree and beaded work in gold, need only be mentioned, for they have been described and illustrated in the catalogues of Seymour de Ricci. They were made from the fourth to the eighth century A.D., the latest probably not exceeding the reign of Charlemagne (742- 814). It was Charlemagne who stopped the custom of burying the dead with their weapons and jewelry because all the wealth was going into the ground instead of into the treasury. The result is that much fine jewelry was melted down. The Eastern influence which had come westwards after the year 330, when Constantine transferred his court from Rome to Byzantium (Constantinople), is seen in many pieces of ancient jewelry. The goldsmiths followed the Emperor Constantine to Byzantium, and from there came many marvels of art and beauty as presents to the Western churches. The jewelry in the treasure (sixth century) found on the island of Cyprus is in the Eastern style. It was probably buried during the Arab invasion of the island. About the beginning of the eleventh century the Byzantine influence had been largely spent, and new styles were introduced. Families of monks, animated by one spirit and educated in the same way, lived in monasteries which were schools of ecclesiastical goldsmiths. They built and adorned their churches; they hammered, chased, and enameled gold, silver, and bronze. Altar fronts, pyxes, lamps, patens, chalices, crosses, candlesticks, and reliquaries were made, and most of their motives of design, methods of working, and chemical processes were the common property of the abbeys. Lay craftsmen, too, devoted more of their energies than previously to building cathedrals and creating ecclesiastical art, and there is consequently a close connection between the work of the architect and the mediaeval goldsmith. This ecclesiastical influence is seen in a late eleventh-century book cover of silver-gilt, ivory, cabochons, and enamel, from the cathedral of Jaca. Before the multiplication of books by printing, their covers had more to do with the goldsmith's art than with that of the binder. Architectural influence is shown in the French thirteenth-century reliquary of Saint Margaret. Reliquaries like this were master-pieces of work in precious metals. They were built up of innumerable plates soldered together, with buttresses, pinnacles, and traceried windows, like little models of churches or small chapels. During the Renaissance, everything that could be gold was gold, not only jewelry but plate; and dresses for men and women and even horse trappings were made of cloth of gold. It was an age when the setting of a gem or the molding of a goblet was a matter that would occupy a grave potentate to the exclusion of affairs of state. In order to satisfy the demands of the time Columbus set out not to discover another continent but to find a convenient route to India, the land of gold, pearls, and spices. The Renaissance goldsmiths made the most of the mediaeval tradition in technique and in due course they developed perfection in workmanship. The rich and varied pendants are splendid examples of the renaissance jeweler’s art. This type of ornament originated in devotional usage, and during the Middle Ages its decoration was almost always of religious significance. The pendant was a conspicuous ornament and was usually of fine workmanship. Portrait medallions, especially those of historical personages, were made by distinguished masters. A splendid pendant, representing Bona Sforza, Queen of Poland, is signed by Jacobus Veron (Gian Jacopo Caraglio) and is dated 1554. The cameo portrait of the queen is sardonyx, her chain and hair ornament gold. The Visconti-Sforza arms on the reverse are enameled gold. Among the enseignes, ornaments worn on the turned-back brim of the hat or cap, one superb historical example is one in gold skillfully embossed. Cellini, in his “Treatise on Goldsmithing,” explains how such embossing was done. In principle, a sheet of gold is beaten from the back with punches until it is bossed up much like the wax model. He completes the explanation by telling of a visit to his workshop by Michelangelo, who complimented him on a gold medal embossed in high relief. Michelangelo reputedly said: “If this work were made in great, whether of marble or of bronze, and fashioned with as exquisite design as this, it would astonish the world; and even in its present size it seems to me so beautiful that I do not think ever a goldsmith of the ancient world fashioned aught to come up to it!” Another technique explained by Cellini is the “beautiful art of enameling.” A splendid example of this technique may be seen on a fine cups, of red jasper mounted with enameled gold and precious stones. It should be compared with the Cellini cup in the Altman collection. Personal jewelry of the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries can be characterized by snuffboxes and carnets de bal (dance programs), precisely executed, showing the quality of the era’s workmanship. Such boxes, of varicolored gold, jeweled, and set with miniature portraits of their donors, were the favorite gifts of kings and princes. They were enormously costly in their day and they have always been precious collectors’ items. Some of them be- longed to persons famous in history, some are signed by famous jewelers, and all illustrate the extravagant vanities of the time. During the seventeenth century, there developed an increasing fondness for faceted gems set close together to produce glittering masses. Gradually the setting was subordinated to the precious stones, and this is the modern style. Ancient Indus Jewelry: The Indus Valley Civilization: An ornamented past, revealed in 5,000-year-old artifacts and jewelry. The Indus Valley Civilization was rich with culture and tradition, revealed in its wealth of beautiful, intricate, and elaborate ornaments, jewelry and artifacts. These items and more are on exhibit at India’s Jewelry Gallery of the National Museum in Delhi. According to DNA India, the display represents the high aesthetic sense of the craftsmen of Old World civilization, and the connection between culture then and now through art, jewelry, coins and pottery. The National Museum exhibit is entitled Alamkara – The Beauty of Ornament. The museum describes the nature of the collection and the influence of adornment on humanity, observing, “Once decorated with beautiful ornaments, the body assumes form, becomes visible, attractive and perfect. Painstakingly wrought by anonymous goldsmiths in ateliers and workshops across the country, the national museum collection celebrates the great variety of forms, the beauty of Indian design and the genius of Indian craftsmanship,” FirstPost reports. More than 200 ornaments are on display collected from 3,300 B.C. to the 19th and 20th centuries, including a 5,000 year old necklace, created of steatite and gold beads all capped in gold, with pendants of agate and jade. Guest curator and jewelry historian Usha Balakrishna told DNA India, “"India was the largest manufacturer and exporter of beads to the world at that time...They had the skill of tumbling beads, of cutting semi-precious hardstones, of shaping the beads. India was also home to the diamond and invented the diamond drill, which was then taught to the Romans." The ancient auspicious image of the swastika can be found on other items featured in the exhibit at the museum. Two square amulets feature lucky swastika symbolism, and Balakrishna says they are "the earliest known representations of swastika in gold known to us.” Other motifs decorating the artifacts are lions, fish, and the 'poorna ghat', known as a vase of plenty in religious ceremonies. The Indus Valley civilization (also called the Harappan era) was one of the earliest known cultures of the Old World, dating from approximately 3,300 to 1,900 B.C., and spanning widely across Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Wikipedia notes that the engineering skills of the people were “remarkable”, with great achievements in measurement accuracy and craftsmanship. The subcontinent boasts the longest history of jewelry making in the world, stemming back 5,000 years. These first jewelers created gold earrings, necklaces, beads and bangles, and the wares would be used in trade, and worn mostly by females. Sir John Marshall of the Archaeological Survey of India is to have been shocked at seeing samples of ancient Indus Valley bronze work in the early 1900s: “When I first saw them I found it difficult to believe that they were prehistoric; they seemed to completely upset all established ideas about early art, and culture. Modeling such as this was unknown in the ancient world up to the Hellenistic age of Greece, and I thought, therefore, that some mistake must surely have been made...” The showcasing of the art, skills and craftsmanship of the Indus Valley civilization and their descendants is hoped to help fill in some of the gaps in understanding of the history and rich culture of ancient India. [AncientOrigins.Net]. Ancient Hellenic Jewelry In Israel: Explorers find Hidden Treasure in Cave – Coins and Jewelry Dating to Alexander the Great. Hidden treasure found by amateur explorers in a cave is being described as one of the most important discoveries in northern Israel in recent years. Members of the Israeli Caving Club have uncovered a rare cache of silver coins and jewelry dating to the reign of Alexander the Great. The explorers spotted the ancient finds tucked into a narrow crevice of a stalactite cave in the Galilee region of northern Israel. The glint of a shiny, silver object caught the attention of Hen Zakai and his spelunking partners. According to The Jerusalem Post the men found two ancient silver coins, minted in the late fourth century B.C. The remains of a pouch cloth contained jewelry – rings, earrings and bracelets. The items were well preserved and intricately detailed. CNN reports, “On one side of the coin is an image of Alexander the Great, while on the other side is an image of Zeus sitting on his throne, arm raised as if ready to wield his fearsome lightning bolts. The coins allowed archaeologists to date the find.” Alexander the Great, ruler of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedonia, led a military campaign throughout the Middle East and parts of Asia. Alexander is credited with founding some 20 cities that bore his name, including Alexandria in ancient Egypt, and spread Greece's culture east. He died in Babylon, the present day Iraq, in 323 B.C. It is thought the coins and treasures were stashed by the ancient owners during political unrest, assumedly to be retrieved when it was safe to do so. Deputy director of the authority’s Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery, Dr. Eitan Klein tells The Jerusalem Post, “The valuables might have been hidden in the cave by local residents who fled there during the period of governmental unrest stemming from the death of Alexander, a time when the Wars of the Diadochi broke out in Israel between Alexander’s heirs following his death. “We are talking about something very, very unique,” Klein says, according to CNN. It seems the original owners never returned, and the rare items remained behind as a time capsule, giving a glimpse into the lives of possible refugees from over 2,300 years ago. Realizing they’d found historically significant items, the cave explorers immediately contacted Israel Antiquities Authority officials (IAA), and a joint investigation of the cave was held. Remnants of pottery were discovered, but some of the ancient vessels have fused with the limestone stalactites of the cave, and cannot be removed. Mail Online adds that agate gemstones and an oil lamp were also found. “After analyzing the findings in IAA’s laboratory, archeologists determined that some of the artifacts date back to the Chalcolithic period 6,000 years ago, Early Bronze Age 5,000 years ago, Biblical period 3,000 years ago, and the Hellenistic period, approximately 2,300 years ago,” writes The Jerusalem Post. This find comes after the discovery of a massive hoard of almost 2,000 gold coins by divers in the ancient harbor in Caesarea, Israel. These coins, which are over 1,000 years old, constitute the largest find of its kind in the country. It is believed the treasure belongs to a shipwreck of an official treasury boat on its way to Egypt with collected taxes. For now the cave’s location remains a secret, and further examinations of the Galilee cave by archaeologists and geologists are planned. It is hoped future digs will reveal other interesting and important finds which will shed light on the lives and times of ancient Israel. [AncientOrigins.net]. The First Queen Of Windsor’s Jewelry Circa 2500 B.C. : Almost all that remains of this woman, perhaps the first Queen of Windsor, is her jewelry. Though her clothes long since decomposed and her bones are almost completely decayed, her lavish jewelry remains behind, giving hints to her identity. For this one ancient woman, a diamond—or, at least, her jewelry—is indeed forever. At a quarry between Heathrow airport and Windsor Castle, just outside London, archaeologists just uncovered the remains of a 4,400-year old corpse that may turn out to be the first queen of Windsor. Though her clothes long since decomposed and her bones are almost completely decayed, her lavish jewelry remains behind, giving hints to her identity and possible royal status. LiveScience reports: "The woman’s bones have been degraded by acid in the soil, making radiocarbon dating and DNA analysis impossible. Nonetheless, excavators believe she was at least 35 years old when she died sometime between 2500-2200 B.C., around the era Stonehenge was constructed." When this woman was buried, she wore a necklace of tube-shaped gold beads and black disks made from a coal-like material called lignite. Scattered around her remains, archaeologists also found amber buttons and fasteners, hinting that she was buried in an adorned gown that has long since disintegrated. Black beads near her hand were probably once part of a bracelet. A large drinking vessel, a rare find in graves from this time period and area, was also buried near her remains. From initial isotope analyses, the researchers found that the gold probably originated in southeast Ireland and southern Britain, the black beads from eastern Europe, and the amber perhaps from the Baltic region, Discover writes. As far as who she was, according to the archaeologists in charge of the excavation, Gareth Chaffey of Wessex Archaeology, the woman was probably “an important person in her society, perhaps holding some standing which gave her access to prestigious, rare and exotic items.” This means, Chaffey continued, that she could have been a leader, a person of power or perhaps even a queen. [Smithsonian.com]. Neanderthal Jewelry: Did Neanderthals make jewelry 130,000 years go? Eagle claws provide clues. Krapina Neanderthals may have manipulated white-tailed eagle talons to make jewelry 130,000 years ago, before the appearance of modern human in Europe, according to a study published March 11, 2015 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by David Frayer from University of Kansas and colleagues from Croatia. Researchers describe eight mostly complete white-tailed eagle talons from the Krapina Neanderthal site in present-day Croatia, dating to approximately 130,000 years ago. These white-tailed eagle bones, discovered more than 100 years ago, all derive from a single time period at Krapina. Four talons bear multiple edge-smoothed cut marks, and eight show polishing facets or abrasion. Three of the largest talons have small notches at roughly the same place along the plantar surface. The authors suggest these features may be part of a jewelry assemblage, like mounting the talons in a necklace or bracelet. Some have argued that Neanderthals lacked symbolic ability or copied this behavior from modern humans, but the presence of the talons indicates that the Krapina Neanderthals may have acquired eagle talons for some kind of symbolic purpose. They also demonstrate that the Krapina Neanderthals may have made jewelry 80,000 years before the appearance of modern humans in Europe. “It's really a stunning discovery. It's one of those things that just appeared out of the blue. It's so unexpected and it's so startling because there's just nothing like it until very recent times to find this kind of jewelry,” David Frayer said. [AncientOrigins.net]. The Mycenaean “Griffin Warrior” I: The Incredible Treasures Found Inside the ‘Griffin Warrior’ Tomb. Why was a Mycenaean soldier buried with so many riches? Every archaeologist dreams of uncovering a trove of historically significant objects. Last spring, that dream became a reality for a team led by two University of Cincinnati scholars, who discovered the grave of a Bronze Age warrior in southwestern Greece. Now, as Nicholas Wade writes for the New York Times, the find has yielded intriguing treasures—and plenty of excitement from archaeologists. The gravesite was found within the ancient city of Pylos. It’s being called the richest tomb found in the region since the 1950s, Wade reports, for “the richness of its find and its potential for shedding light on the emergence of the Mycenaean civilization.” In a release, the University of Cincinnati lays out the wealth within the grave: bronze jugs; basins of bronze, silver and gold; four solid-gold rings; a bronze sword with an ivory hilt covered in gold; more than 1,000 beads of different gems; a gold-hilted dagger and much more. The entombed skeleton even has a nickname—the “Griffin Warrior”—in reference to an ivory plaque inscribed with a griffin found nearby. Though the burial objects suggest the Griffin Warrior was an important person, they also raise intriguing questions. “The discovery of so much jewelry with a male burial challenges the commonly held belief that these apparently ‘feminine’ adornments and offerings accompanied only wealthy women to the hereafter,” the excavation team says in the release. The find raises questions about the warrior’s culture, too. He was buried near a Mycenaean palace, but the artifacts within the grave are primarily Minoan. Mycenaeans lived in the region between the 15th and 13th centuries B.C., dominating the area with military might. Scholars believe the Mycenaeans borrowed greatly from Minoan culture—so much so that some studies of Mycenaean religion even lump the two together. Does the Griffin Warrior suggest a complex cultural interchange between the two civilizations? Archaeologists and historians will work to find answers, Wade writes, by piecing together evidence collected from the grave. And that’s a task researchers will gladly undertake. [Smithsonian.com]. The Mycenaean “Griffin Warrior” II: Gold Rings Found in Warrior’s Tomb Connect Two Ancient Greek Cultures. The Minoan Civilization flourished on the Island of Crete from around 2600 to 1200 B.C., building the foundation for classical Greek culture. The ancient Greece of ancient Greece, if you will, the people developed religious concepts, art and architecture that would go on to influence the whole of Western civilization. But their reign was believed to fall when the Mycenaean civilization, which developed on the Peloponnese Peninsula (and gave rise to the heroes of The Iliad), plundered the Minoans and absorbed some aspects of their civilization into their own culture. But the grave of a Mycenaean warrior uncovered last year in Pylos in the southwest of Greece may tell a different tale, reports Nicholas Wade at The New York Times. In May 2015, archaeologists Shari Stocker and Jack Davis from the University of Cincinnati uncovered the pristine warrior’s grave near the Palace of Nestor in Pylos. The body was that of a warrior in his mid-30s who died around 1500 B.C., Rachel Richardson writes for UC Magazine. Buried with him were some 2,000 objects, including silver cups, beads made of precious stones, ivory combs, a sword and four intricately decorated solid gold rings. The discovery of the man, dubbed the “Griffin Warrior” because of an ivory plaque decorated with the mythical beast found with him, offers evidence that Mycenaean culture recognized and appreciated Minoan culture more than previously believed, researchers outline in an article soon to be published in the journal Hesperia. Of particular interest are the man’s rings. They are made of multiple sheets of gold and depict very detailed scenes and iconography straight out of Minoan mythology. The rings probably come from Crete where they were used to place seals on documents or objects. The bull, a sacred symbol for Minoans, appears in two of the rings and the Griffin Warrior was buried with a bronze bull’s head staff. After a year of examining the treasures, Stocker and Davis believe the Mycenaeans, or at least the ones who buried the Griffin warrior, weren’t just pillaging the Minoans for their pretty jewelry. They were exchanging ideas and directly adopting aspects of Minoan culture. They also argue that the Minoan goods and iconography were treated like symbols of political power. “People have suggested that the findings in the grave are treasure, like Blackbeard’s treasure, that was just buried along with the dead as impressive contraband,” Davis tells Richardson. “We think that already in this period the people on the mainland already understood much of the religious iconography on these rings, and they were already buying into religious concepts on the island of Crete.” He believes the society that buried the Griffin Warrior was knee-deep in Minoan culture. “Whoever they are, they are the people introducing Minoan ways to the mainland and forging Mycenaean culture. They were probably dressing like Minoans and building their houses according to styles used on Crete, using Minoan building techniques,” he says. Cynthia W. Shelmerdine of the University of Texas, an expert on the Bronze Age in the Aegean, tells Wade that she agrees that the Minoan rings and other objects found in the grave represent political power in the Griffin Warrior’s culture. “These things clearly have a power connection…[and] fits with other evidence that the elites on the mainland are increasingly closely connected to the elites on Crete whether or not the rings were used in the Minoan way for sealing objects.” Wade says while the Mycenaean culture adapted many aspects of the Minoans, their direct connection to and memory of that society faded over time and mainly survived in some of the myths they collected from Crete. The researchers will publicly debut the rings and other objects from the excavation during a lecture this upcoming Thursday. [Smithsonian.com]. The Mycenaean “Griffin Warrior” III: Rare Unlooted Grave of Wealthy Warrior Uncovered in Greece. Archaeologists hail the burial, untouched for 3,500 years, as the biggest discovery on mainland Greece in decades. Archaeologists discovered more than 1,400 artifacts in the grave, including a gold necklace more than 30 inches long. The warrior was buried with an array of gold jewelry, including four gold rings. Archaeologists believe most of the precious objects came from Crete. Archaeologists were surprised to discover artifacts usually associated with women, including a hand mirror and six ivory combs. A carnelian seal stone about the size of a quarter is one of four dozen seal stones buried with the warrior. The bull motif testifies to the influence of the Minoans, who revered bulls, on the later Mycenaeans. Bronze weapons found within the tomb included a three-foot-long sword with an ivory handle covered in gold. A text message from the trench supervisor to archaeologists Jack Davis and Sharon Stocker was succinct: “Better come. Hit bronze.” The excavators exploring a small stone shaft on a rocky promontory in southern Greece had found an unusual tomb of an ancient warrior. The burial may hold important clues to the origin of Greek civilization some 3,500 years ago. Along with the well-preserved skeleton of a man in his early thirties, the grave contains more than 1,400 objects arrayed on and around the body, including gold rings, silver cups, and an elaborate bronze sword with an ivory hilt. More surprising were 50 stone seals intricately carved with goddesses, lions, and bulls, as well as a half-dozen delicate ivory combs, a bronze mirror, and some 1,000 carnelian, amethyst, and jasper beads once strung together as necklaces. Between the man’s legs lay an ivory plaque carved with a griffin. “Not since Schliemann have complete burials of this type been found in Greece,” says John Bennet, an archaeologist at the University of Sheffield in Britain and director of the British School at Athens, who is not involved with the dig. In the late 19th century, archaeological pioneer Heinrich Schliemann excavated Troy and Mycenae, the major Greek center from about 1600 B.C. to 1100 B.C. The grave is located at the southwest end of the Peloponnese peninsula at Pylos, a place mentioned by Homer in the Odyssey as the site of King Nestor’s palace with its “lofty halls.” Excavations before and after World War II revealed remnants of a large Mycenaean palace dating to about 1300 B.C., as well as hundreds of clay tablets written in the Linear B script developed on Crete, an island about 100 miles offshore. Those texts led to the translation of Linear B, and confirmed the identity of Pylos. But little is known about the earlier period around 1500 B.C., when Mycenaean society was taking shape. Archaeologists have long debated the influence of Minoan civilization, which began to flourish in Crete around 2500 B.C., on the rise of Mycenaean society a thousand years later. Linear B tablets, bull horn symbols, and goddess figurines found at Mycenaean sites like Pylos attest to the impact of Minoan culture. Based on archaeological evidence of destruction, many scholars believe that the Mycenaeans invaded and conquered Crete around 1450 B.C. In May, Davis and Stocker, a husband-and-wife team from the University of Cincinnati, assembled 35 experts from 10 nations to begin a five-year project aimed at uncovering Pylos’ beginnings. They hit pay dirt on the first day, when workers clearing a field spotted a rectangle of stones that proved to be the top of a four-foot by eight-foot shaft. Three feet down, the excavators spotted the first bronze artifacts. Based on their style, Davis and Stocker are confident that the remains date to about 1500 B.C. “To find an unrobbed and rich Mycenaean tomb is very rare,” says Cynthia Shelmerdine, a classics professor at the University of Texas at Austin who visited the site during the summer’s excavations. “This one shows us some things we would not have anticipated.” What’s peculiar about the tomb is that it contains only a single person and includes a remarkable wealth of mostly foreign objects, as well as artifacts typically associated with women. Resting places for the Mycenaean elite usually include many individuals. Just 100 yards from the new find, archaeologists excavated such a group tomb in the 1950s. Davis and Stocker estimate that three-quarters of the finished grave goods in the warrior’s shaft come from Crete—a two-day’s sail to the south—rather than from local sources. There are also amber beads from the Baltic, amethyst from the Middle East, and carnelian that may originate in Egypt that might have been brought to Crete by Minoan traders. “The range and number of Minoan or Minoan-style artifacts in this tomb should greatly deepen our knowledge about the extent of this relationship,” says Shelmerdine. The presence of beads, combs, and a mirror in a warrior’s tomb poses a puzzle. “The discovery of so much precious jewelry with a male warrior-leader challenges the commonly-held belief that jewelry was buried only with wealthy females,” says Stocker. She adds that Spartan warriors ritually combed their hair before battle, while Davis suggests that the jewelry may have been offerings to the goddess from the dead man on his journey to the underworld. Who Was This Wealthy Warrior? The unusual nature of the Pylos tomb could mean that he was a Minoan warrior or leader, rather than a native Mycenaean. Alternatively, he may have fought in Crete and brought back plunder or developed a taste for Minoan goods. Or he may have been a Mycenaean leader who wanted to establish a new tradition. What’s clear, the archaeologists say, is that he didn’t want to be associated with the group tombs that were the norm for locals both before and after his death. Skeletal analysis that may help the team pinpoint his identity will soon get under way, says Stocker. The well-preserved teeth could reveal his genetic background, while examination of the pelvis area may tell researchers about his diet. Studying the bones also may help determine the cause of death. Stocker and Davis will close up the tomb in coming weeks to concentrate on analyzing their many finds. [National Geographic (2015)]. Ancient Roman Jewelry: Ancient Roman jewelry was characterized by an interest in colored gemstones and glass, contrasting with Greek predecessors, which focused primarily on the production of high-quality metalwork by practiced artisans. Various types of jewelry were worn by different genders and social classes in Rome, and were used both for aesthetic purposes and to communicate social messages of status and wealth. While much emphasis is placed on fine gold and silver pieces of antiquated jewelry, many pieces worn by lower social classes in Rome would have been made out of bronze or other less expensive metals. Gold and silver pieces would have been worn by the wealthy. Unlike ancient Greek jewelers, Roman manufacturers would have dealt primarily with mass-produced pieces created using molds and casting techniques. This allowed more people to afford such accessories. Roman aesthetic values led to the increased use of precious and semi-precious gemstones as well as colored glass in jewelry. Ostentatious and creative use of color was valued over fine metalwork. Glass makers were supposedly so skilled that they could fool the public into thinking that glass beads and ornaments were actually gemstones. When genuine gems were utilized, the stones preferred by Roman women were amethyst, emerald, and pearl. Solid gold snake bracelets, among the most popular types of Roman jewelry. Snake bracelets were often worn in pairs, around the wrists as well as on the upper arms. The focus on showiness and imitation of fine materials demonstrates the fact that Romans were highly conscious of how they presented themselves in public. While living, Roman men and women frequently used ornamentation of their houses and bodies to demonstrate wealth, power, influence, and knowledge. As with many societies, ancient Roman accessorizing varied along boundaries of gender and age, in addition to social standing. Roman women collected and wore more jewelry than men. Women usually had pierced ears, in which they would wear one set of earrings. Additionally they would adorn themselves with necklaces, bracelets, rings, and fibulae. One choker-style necklace, two bracelets, and multiple rings would be worn at once. Jewelry was particularly important to women because it was considered to be their own property, which could be kept independently of their husband's wealth and used as the women saw fit. They had the right to buy, sell, bequeath, or barter their own jewelry. Typically Roman men wore less jewelry than their female counterparts. Finger rings and fibulae were the most common forms of jewelry worn by men, but they would also sometimes wear pendants. Roman men, unlike Greek men, wore multiple rings at once. Roman children's jewelry served special purposes, especially in the form of amulets. These were worn draped around the neck, and had specialized purposes to protect the children from illness and misfortune. For example, a phallic fascinus was commonly placed on or near a young boy to ward off the evil forces. Collections of jewelry represented great wealth and power to the Roman owners. The use of this jewelry was not limited to simply wearing it, but also extended to spiritual purposes. Hoards of gold, silver, and bronze jewelry have been found at Greek and Roman temples, providing evidence that worshipers would have offered some of their jewelry to the god or goddess of the temple, much as they would have offered other objects.[Wikipedia]. Roman Jewelry In Britain: A collection of Roman jewelry, including three gold armlets, a silver chain necklace, two silver bracelets, a silver armlet, four finger rings, a box containing two pairs of gold earrings, and a bag of coins, was discovered during the renovation of a department store in Colchester, Britain’s oldest recorded town. The cache of jewelry had been buried in the floor of a house that had been burned to the ground at the time of the Boudiccan Revolt of A.D. 61, marked by a thick red and black layer of debris over much of the modern city. According to Philip Crummy, director of the Colchester Archaeological Trust, “our team removed the find undisturbed along with its surrounding soil, so that the individual items could be carefully uncovered and recorded under controlled conditions off site.” In addition, a piece of a human jaw and a shin bone that had been cut with a heavy, sharp weapon were recovered. “We also discovered food that was never eaten on the floor of the room in which the jewelry was found, including dates, figs, wheat, peas, and grain,” Crummy said. The food was probably stored in the room, and was carbonized and preserved by the fire. [Archaeological Institute of America]. Romano-Celtic Dragon Brooches: Romano-Celtic brooches reflected the complexities of life on Rome's northern frontier, where native Celtic and classical cultures converged. "Dragon" motif brooches with curving animal heads and bright enameling were typical of Celtic art in northern Britain, yet the style dates to a time after the invasion of the country by the Roman emperor Claudius in A.D. 43. Prior to the arrival of the Romans, Celtic brooches were almost universally safety-pin-type. The Celts combined new Roman styles, including animal-shaped and flat brooches, with local styles of decoration familiar from jewelry and horse gear to create a new indigenous type. The "dragonesque" brooches show the hybridization of cultures and the innovation of Celtic art on the edge of the Roman Empire. Some 250 of these brooches have been found, mostly in the frontier area. But a few were scattered across the Empire, perhaps the property of troops who had served in Britain or souvenirs of visits to the northern frontier. One particular enameled example was unearthed around 1840 was with a hoard of metalwork, which came from a peat bog about 50 miles north of Hadrian's Wall in what is now Scotland. Unfortunately, much of the hoard was lost soon after its discovery. The surviving pieces include a matching pair of safety-pin brooches, two finger rings, and a torque (neck ornament)--probably a jewelry set--and a large number of bronze vessels, both Roman and Celtic in origin. The hoard's deliberate burial in a bog suggests that it was a votive offering, likely made by a local leader. The mixing of artifacts in the hoard and styles on the brooch show how Celts were adapting to the new world of Rome in the frontier areas. [Archaeological Institute of America]. Roman Pict Jewelry: Archaeologists discovered a hoard of 100 silver items, including coins and jewelry, which come from the 4th and 5th centuries A.D. The treasure belongs to the period of the Roman Empire’s domination in Scotland, or perhaps later. Almost 200 years ago, a team of Scottish laborers cleared a rocky field with dynamite. They discovered three magnificent silver artifacts: a chain, a spiral bangle, and a hand pin. However, they didn't search any deeper to check if there were any more treasures. They turned the field into a farmland and excavations were forgotten. Now, archaeologists have returned to the site and discovered a hoard (a group of valuable objects that is sometimes purposely buried underground) of 100 silver items. According to Live Science, the treasure is called the Gaulcross hoard. The artifacts belonged to the Pict people who lived in Scotland before, during, and after the Roman era. The artifacts were found by a team led by Gordon Noble, head of archaeology at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. When they started work in the field, they didn't think to search for more artifacts, but were trying to learn more about the context of the discovery made nearly two centuries ago. The researchers claim that the field also contained two man-made stone circles - one dating to the Neolithic period and the other the Bronze Age (1670 – 1500 B.C.). The three previously discovered pieces were given to Banff Museum in Aberdeenshire, and are now on loan and display at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. In 2013, two groups of researchers studied the field in northeastern Scotland with the help of metal detectors. It was the first time when researchers explored the field after such a long time. During the second day of work, they uncovered three Late-Roman-era silver "siliquae," or coins, that dated to the 4th or 5th century A.D. They also found a part of a silver bracelet, silver strap-end, and several pieces of folded hacksilver (pieces of cut or bent silver). They examined the field over the next 18 months, and as a result, they unearthed 100 pieces of silver all together. The silver was not mined in Scotland during the Roman period, and instead came from somewhere else in the Roman world. During the "Late Roman period, silver was recycled and recast into high-status objects that underpinned the development of elite society in the post-Roman period". The researchers believe that some of these silver pieces, such as the chunks of silver called ingots, may have served as currency, much as a gold bar did in more modern times. The recent discoveries help shed light on the date of the Gaulcross hoard. It seems that some of the objects were connected with the elites. The silver hand pins and bracelets are very rare finds, so the researchers concluded that the objects would have belonged to some of the most powerful members of the post-Roman society. Some of the finds from Gaulcross: A) the lunate/crescent-shaped pendant with two Another important hoard has previously been uncovered in Scotland. Actually, on October 13, 2014, April Holloway of Ancient Origins reported on the discovery of one of the most significant Viking hoards found there to date. She wrote: "An amateur treasure hunter equipped with a metal detector has unearthed a massive hoard of Viking artifacts in Dumfries and Galloway, in what has been described as one of the most significant archaeological finds in Scottish history. According to the Herald Scotland , more than 100 Viking relics were found, including silver ingots, armbands, brooches, and gold objects." The findings also included “an early Christian cross from the 9th or 10 century AD made from solid silver, described as having unique and unusual decorations. There was also a rare Carolingian vessel, believed to be the largest Carolingian pot ever discovered.” Holloway wrote that the Vikings “conducted numerous raids on Carolingian lands between 8th and 10th century AD” and explained that in a “few records, the Vikings are thought to have led their first raids in Scotland on the island of Iona in 794.” The Vikings attacks led to the downfall of the Picts. As Holloway reported: “In 839, a large Norse fleet invaded via the River Tay and River Earn, both of which were highly navigable, and reached into the heart of the Pictish kingdom of Fortriu. They defeated the king of the Picts, and the king of the Scots of Dál Riata, along with many members of the Pictish aristocracy in battle. The sophisticated kingdom that had been built fell apart, as did the Pictish leadership." [AncientOrigins.Net]. Ancient Egyptian Faience Jewelry: Egyptian faience is a glassy substance manufactured expertly by the ancient Egyptians. The process was first developed in Mesopotamia, first at Ur and later at Babylon, with significant results but faience production reached its height of quality and quantity in Egypt. Some of the greatest faience-makers of antiquity were the Phoenicians of cities such as Tyre and Sidon who were so expert in making glass that it is thought they invented the process. The Egyptians took the Phoenician technique and improved upon it, creating works of art which still intrigue and fascinate people in the present day. Faience was made by grinding quartz or sand crystals together with various amounts of sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and copper oxide. The resulting substance was formed into whatever shape was desired, whether an amulet, beads, a broach or a figurine and then said pieces were heated. During heating, the pieces would harden and develop a bright color which was then finely glazed. It is thought that the Egyptian artisans perfected faience in an attempt to imitate turquoise and other hard to find gem stones. The calcium silicates in the mixture were responsible for the bright colors and the glassy finish. Among the most famous of faience statuary is the blue hippopotamus popularly known as "William", currently on exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan, NY, USA. This piece was one of a pair found in the shaft of the tomb of the steward Senbi II who served under either Senusret I (circa 1971-1926 B.C.) or Senusret II (circa 1897-1878 B.C.), both of the 12th Dynasty of the Middle Kingdom. The figure was molded of faience and painted with river and marsh plants, representing the natural habitat of the hippo. A pasted of copper, limestone, and quartz oxide was then applied all over the figure which, when heated, turned it a bright blue. The hippo was considered an extremely dangerous animal by the ancient Egyptians and were sometimes included with grave goods (whether as statuary, amulet, or as an inscription) for protection of the deceased in the afterlife. The soul of the dead person, however, also required protection from its protecting hippo and some provision had to be made for this. In the case of "William" the Hippo, three of its legs were purposefully broken after the statue was completed so it would not be able to run after Senbi II in the afterlife and harm him. Besides statuary, the Egyptians used faience for the manufacture of jewelry (rings, amulets, necklaces) but also for scarabs, to create the board and pieces for the game of Sennet, for furniture and even for bowls and cups. Among the most popular objects made from faience, however, were the Shabti dolls which were placed in the tombs of the dead. The Shabti was a figure, sometimes fashioned in the likeness of the deceased, who would take the dead person’s place at communal work projects, ordained by the god Osiris, in the after-life of the Field of Reeds. The Egyptian word for faience was tjehenet which means 'gleaming’ or 'shining’ and the faience was thought to reflect the light of immortality. The poor of Egypt, if they could even afford a Shabti doll, would have one made of wood, while the more wealthy and the nobility commanded Shabti of faience. The colors of the faience (as with color generally) were thought to have special symbolism. Blue represented fertility, life, the Nile river on earth and in the after-life, green symbolized goodness and re-birth in the Field of Reeds, red was used for vitality and energy and also as protection from evil, black represented death and decay but also life and regeneration, and white symbolized purity. The colors one sees on the Shabti dolls, and in other faience, all have very specific meaning and combine to provide a protective energy for the object's owner. The Egyptian word for faience was tjehenet which means 'gleaming’ or 'shining’ and the faience was thought to reflect the light of immortality. So closely was faience associated with the Egyptian after-life that the tiles for the chamber walls of tombs were made of faience as was seen at King Djoser’s tomb at Saqqara and, most famously, in the tomb of Tutankhamun where over one hundred objects were entirely or partially of faience. The earliest evidence of a faience workshop has been unearthed at Abydos and dated to 5500 B.C. The workshop consists of a number of circular pits, clearly the remains of kilns, with a lining of brick and all of them fire-marked. Layers of ancient ash in the pits are evidence of continuous use over many years. Small clay balls were also discovered and it is thought that they may have been used as the surface on which faience beads were fired in the kilns. The names of the faience makers are lost to history save for one man, Rekhamun, who was known as “Faience Maker of Amun”, and another known as Debeni, the overseer of faience workers. Of the other craftsmen in faience, and there must have been many, nothing is known. [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. Ancient Beaded Jewelry: The desire for personal adornment, especially in the form of beads, has been with us for a very long time--as far back as the Neanderthal era, some 75,000 years ago or perhaps even more. Like many before them, the Predynastic (circa 3600 B.C.) inhabitants of Hierakonpolis gave into this primeval urge, but seemingly not as freely as those living at other sites of this time. Beads are not especially prevalent, except in the graves of the elite where the selection is choice, but limited in quantity. Then as now, beads were valuable and this lack probably has more to do with theft and plunder over the millennia than with any disaffection for such finery. In fact, bead making appears to have been a significant industry at Hierakonpolis--far more plentiful than the beads themselves are the tools used to make them...or at least this is what we think they are. Distinctive little flint borers, called microdrills, averaging only 2 cm in length, have been recovered in great numbers at Hierakonpolis in conjunction with evidence to deduce their use. In 1899, the British archaeologist, F.W. Green, discovered two caches which he described as containing "an enormous number of exceedingly small pointed flint implements" (i.e., microdrills) along with many broken carnelian pebbles, some chipped into the form of rough beads, some showing the signs of the beginning of the boring operation, as well as chips of amethyst, steatite, rock crystal, obsidian and ostrich egg shell. These objects had been stowed in cavities, rather like little lockers, hollowed out at the base of the outer wall surrounding the temple precinct in which the famous Narmer palette had been found just the year before. Green attributed them to the Old Kingdom, but they may be older. Selected items from one cache were taken back to England and now reside in the Petrie Museum of Archaeology at University College London and include 464 microdrills, and several unfinished beads. The whereabouts of the second cache remained a mystery until 1996, when we rediscovered it carefully re-cached in a small pit in the ground just outside of the New Kingdom rock cut tomb that the British team in 1898-99 called home. Apparently with so many wonderful finds, some things had to be left behind and when the packing crates were full, the residue was buried on the spot. Whether this cache and the other abandoned objects were originally meant to be retrieved later is unknown, but it took almost 100 years before they finally were. This cache not only contained a large number of microdrills, but also the cores and numerous blades from which they were made, a substantial quantity of broken carnelian pebbles, and even a handy little hammer stone. The complete kit...or so it seemed. More of these little drills were found in 1985-86 during excavations at a ceremonial center where they were the most prevalent tool at the site and were especially numerous in the deposits covering the east half of the oval floor. During preliminary analysis of less than half of the assemblage 553 of them were counted, making up 35% of all identifiable tools recovered. Their presence at this site suggests that workshops with craftsmen specializing in the creation of various high status items were attached to the sacred precinct, functioning like the temple workshops known later in Egypt to supply the gods and their representatives. As we are currently involved in the detailed analysis of the lithic material from the ceremonial center, we naturally became interested in how these tools actually worked. Despite the evidence of the associated raw materials, few are willing to commit on the function of the microdrill. Green would only say that they were evidently for boring beads of carnelian and the like, but just how this was accomplished was not evident. More recently, Denys Stocks, in his fascinating study of ancient Egyptian stone-working technology was equally cautious and queried the true function of microdrills pending microscopic examination for wear patterns. While not really questioning the efficacy of flint, Stocks has instead been investigating bead-making via experimental reproductions of ancient Egyptian bronze tools. With these, he was able to bore beads made out of a variety of materials using a bow drill. Based on artistic representation he has also been able to reconstruct the clever method developed in the New Kingdom by which multiple beads were produced at one time. It was still an arduous task. Even with a bronze drill bit, for hard stones like quartz and amethyst he calculates that it took up to 300 minutes to drill a hole 1 cm deep. As most carnelian beads at Hierakonpolis are about 3 mm thick, each bead would then have taken about 1.5 hours to perforate using a bronze bit--how long would it have taken with flint? Considering this time investment, it is little wonder that techniques to allow mass production were sought. So how did they make beads in the Predynastic period? What were these little drills really for? We decided to do a few experiments of our own to gain better insight into the problems and possibilities. Volunteering his services for this experiment is Hitoshi Endo, of the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Japan. A member of the Hierakonpolis Expedition since 2007, he has been assisting Izumi Takamiya (Associate Professor at Kinki University, Japan) in the excavations of a Predynastic brewery site (the subject of our next update). While he enjoys a good beer, lithics are his true love, so in his spare time he has been investigating the lithic assemblages at the "temple" and puzzling over its numerous microdrills. Hitoshi has also worked in India, where carnelian beads are still made by hand. Having made some beads of his own under the direction of these modern producers, he applied this experience to the microdrill experiment. Here he reports on his progress: "A wide variety of materials were used to make beads in Predynastic Hierakonpolis. Not all of the raw materials were available to us, but using what we could, we decided to begin with the softest materials and work upward to see just what a flint microdrill could do." "First to be tested was ostrich egg shell. While beads of this material are not especially common in Predynastic Hierakonpolis, they do occur at most localities. Most appear to be well made, but the largest single collection, found as a necklace around the neck of an infant in a burial within a non-elite cemetery are rough and clearly unfinished. As with all beads, the first step is to break up the raw material into a workable size and roughly shape it. Because the available piece of ostrich egg shell was collected from the surface, it was a bit brittle so I decided only to snap off a small piece rather than create a rough circle with a hammer stone." "The bead blank was then set into a piece of local sandstone into which I had carved out a small hollow. With a little bit of mud, this held the blank firmly in place for drilling. In order to use the microdrill, the flint tool was set into the split end of a wooden handle and held in place with string. The wooden handle was about 2 cm in diameter and about 35 cm in length. Once completed, it somewhat resembled the tool held by the seal cutter in the Old Kingdom tomb of Ti." "Although in that depiction, the artisan is apparently using wrist action to create the rotation, I used a different, perhaps less elegant, method, influence by my experiences in India. With the bead-fixing stone held between my feet, I rotated the drill handle between my palms; water was added to lubricate. It worked perfectly and I was able to drill one bead in about 3 minutes, first drilling one side and then flipping it over and doing the other. The drill bit showed almost no signs of wear at all. "Once successfully perforated, it was time to polish the bead. I polished the bead edge first on a piece of local sandstone with the help of water as lubricant and then gave it a fine finish on a hard sedimentary rock picked up on the desert surface. It took about 15 minutes to make a smooth, circular bead that is almost impossible to distinguish from an ancient one. It was so easy, I made three more. Encouraged by this success, I tried the drill on a number of other materials to test its perforating power. Bone, limestone, and greywacke could be drilled with more or less effort, but without difficulty." "When it came to carnelian, however, it was a different story. Carnelian, also known as red chalcedony, sard, or red agate, is a silica mineral and it is hard, rating a 7 on the Mohs Scale of mineral hardness, which is the same hardness as flint. Waterworn pebbles of this translucent red to yellow stone were widely available in ancient times and could be collected on the surface in the Eastern Desert. Many of the pieces in the bead-kit cache still have the weathered cortex on the exterior." "The pebbles in the cache are usually about 3-5 cm in diameter and all had been tested for color and quality with a neat knick off one side. Carnelian is easy to fracture, so knocking off a piece to the correct size is not difficult. I then began to shape the piece into a circular form, first roughing it out by knapping the edges on an anvil stone. After that I used only a hammer stone to shape a fairly round bead blank. The hammer and anvil stone were hard sedimentary rock I collected from the desert surface." "This part of the operation required no special equipment. The edges of most (but not all) ancient carnelian beads have clearly been ground smooth, so I tried to grind a bead edge using the sandstone that worked so well for the ostrich egg shell. I got nowhere on the carnelian but managed to make deep furrows in the soft sandstone instead. This was a harbinger of things to come. Installing the carnelian blank carefully into its sandstone holder, I tried to bore it with the flint microdrill tool." "Rotating it between my palms with the help of water, again I made no impact on the carnelian but managed to wear the tip of the drill down to a nub. We even tried to increase rotation with the use a makeshift bow, but still no luck. As the carnelian is as hard as flint, if this was going to work, some abrasive was going to be needed. I tried the finest quartz sand I could find in the immediate vicinity, but it was still too coarse and simply rolled away. Although a reservoir to hold it in place may have helped, it was clear that regular sand wasn't fine enough for the small perforation required." "So how did they do it? Denys Stocks mentions that even with the bronze drill an abrasive was required. Several authors mention the use of emery, which technically is a fine sand made from a very hard form of aluminum oxide (corundum) which has a Mohs scale hardness of 9, but the term has been used loosely as "emery" per se was not available in Egypt. But, clearly, they managed somehow. The tomb depictions of bead drilling show a bowl within easy reach of the craftsman, and this apparently contained the magic material that made it work." "Stocks believes this bowl contained a runny paste which was composed of a mixture of muddy water (clay particle acting as a fine polish) and fine quartz sand, or even more likely, the waste powder from the boring out of stone vessels, where dry desert sand does work well as the abrasive and is ground fine during the process. As a result, he suggests that the two industries were interconnected and evidence bears that out. From the "temple" workshops we have recovered a variety of exotic stone materials, distinctive crescent drills and fragments of the stone vessels themselves." "In the Dynastic town site too, crescent drills and bead blanks have been found together. However, this does not necessarily mean that bead maker and stone vessel maker were one and the same. Considering the time investment to make just one bead, it is hard to believe there were enough hours in the day for one person to make any progress doing both! Thus, like fine cuisine, it appears that the secret to success is in the sauce. Clearly, our bead-making kit didn't contain all of the necessary ingredients. Or perhaps it once did, but a pile of sand, even if it was special sand, is very likely to have gone unnoticed." "Should the opportunity to find a bead-making cache ever present itself again, we will be sure to look for it! In the coming season we will try to recreate the special sauce, and give bead drilling another try. Nevertheless, our experiment wasn't a total failure. Although we have yet to crack carnelian, it is clear that softer stones and materials could be and no doubt were bored using the microdrills. In addition, we actually learned a great deal about microdrills especially with regard to carnelian." "In particular, the rate at which the drill wore down even when perforation was unsuccessful shows that the drills would need to be sharpened and replaced frequently. We'll know more once we are successful, but it looks like the average carnelian bead may have required several drills to complete the hole. Thus any self respecting bead maker would have needed to have at hand a large number of drills, and the cores and blade for making more. While the amounts found in the caches may initially have seemed rather excessive, in light of what we know now, this may not be the case." "This experiment has also allowed us put in perspective the vast number of drills found in the excavations. The hundreds of drills are evidence of what must have been an active industry, but one that now seems to have been much more selective that previously imagined. Finally, we have also learned to appreciate the effort that must have gone into some of the very lovely beads we have been lucky to find and what length we can go to in order to indulge our primal urge to adorn." [Archaeology.org]. Paleolithic Jewelry : Still Eye-catching After 50,000 Years. Beads made from ostrich eggs buried in the Siberian cave around 2,000 generations ago reveal amazing artistic (and drilling) skills of our long-ago ancestors. A fascinating collection of jewelry made of ostrich eggshells is being assembled by archeologists working in the world famous Denisova cave in Altai region. Ostriches in Siberia? 50,000 years ago? Yes, it seems so. Or, at least, their eggshells made it here somehow. In a month that has seen disclosures of the fossil of a tropical parrot in Siberia from at least five million years ago in the Miocene era, this elegant Paleolithic chic shows that our deep history (some 2,000 generations ago, give or take) contains many unexpected surprises. The collection of beads in the Denisova cave are perfectly drilled, and archeologists say they have now found one more close by, with full details to be revealed soon in a scientific journal. The archaeologists claim to have no doubt that the beads are between 45,000 and 50,000 years old, placing them in the Upper Paleolithic era, making them older than strikingly similar finds 11,500 kilometers away in South Africa. Maksim Kozlikin, researcher at the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography, Novosibirsk, said of the Siberian ostrich egg beads: "This is no ordinary find. Our team got quite excited when we found the bead. This is an amazing piece of work. The ostrich egg shell is quite robust material, but the holes in the beads must have been made with a fine stone drill." "For that period of time, we consider this to be an exquisite jewelry work of a very talented artist." The skills and techniques used some 45,000 to 50,000 years ago are remarkable and more akin to the Neolithic era, dozens of millennia later. He believes the beads may have been sewn into clothing - or formed part of a bracelet or necklace. The latest discovery "is one centimeter in diameter, with a hole inside that is slightly wider than a millimeter," he said. Yet he admits: "As of now, there is much more that we do not know about these beads than we do know. For example, we do not know where the beads were made." "One explanation is that the egg shells could have been exported from Trans-Baikal or Mongolia with the beads manufactured here. Another possibility is that the beads were purchased elsewhere and delivered to the Altai Mountains perhaps in an exchange. Whichever way we look at it, it shows that the people populating the Denisova Cave at the time were advanced in technologies and had very well-established contacts with the outside world." Today ostriches are an exotic import into a couple of areas in Siberia, but were they endemic 50,000 years ago, or were they brought from afar? Kozlikin acknowledged there are far more questions than answers. "'We don't know if they decorated elements of men, or women, or children or their clothing with these beads", he said. "We do not know where the beads were sewn on the clothing, if they were. Did they only decorate wealthy members of society? Were they a sign of a special religious status, or did they signify that the person had more authority than the others?" "How did the beads, or the material for them get to Siberia? How much did they cost? What we do know for sure is that the beads were found in the Denisova Cave's 'lucky' eleventh layer, the same one where we found the world's oldest bracelet made from rare dark green stone. All finds from that layer have been dated as being 45,000 to 50,000 years old. We had three other beads found in 2005, 2006 and 2008. All the beads were discovered lying within six meters in the excavation in the eastern gallery of the cave." "We cannot say if they all belonged to one person, but visually these beads look identical. Yet they also appear similar to ostrich egg beads found in an area called Border Cave in South Africa that have been dated up to 44,000 years old. The site is in the foothills of the Lebombo Mountains in KwaZulu-Natal." Dr. Lucinda Backwell, senior researcher in the palaeo-anthropology department at Wits University, has previously highlighted how this African proto-civilization "adorned themselves with ostrich egg and marine shell beads"'. The Siberian beads is the latest discovery from the Denisova Cave which is possibly the finest natural repository of sequential early human history so far discovered anywhere on the planet. The cave was occupied by Homo sapiens along with now extinct early humans - Neanderthals and Denisovans - for at least 288,000 years, and excavations have been underway here for three decades, with the prospect of many exciting finds to come in future. In August, we revealed the discovery of the world's oldest needle in the cave - still useable after 50,000 years. Crafted from the bone of an ancient bird, it was made not by Homo sapiens or even Neanderthals, but by Denisovans. Professor Mikhail Shunkov, head of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography in Novosibirsk, said: "It is the most unique find of this season, which can even be called sensational. It is a needle made of bone. 'As of today it is the most ancient needle in the word. It is about 50,000 years old." [AncientOrigins.net] The World’s Oldest Beads: Beads are known to be one of the earliest forms of trade between the human race. It is thought that is because of bead trading that humans developed language. Beads are said to have been used and traded for most of our history. The oldest beads found to date were at Ksar Akil, in Lebanon. Artifacts recovered from the site include pierced shells that suggest these have been used as pendants or beads. This indicates that the inhabitants were among the first in Western Eurasia to use personal ornaments. Results from radiocarbon dating indicate that the early humans may have lived at the site approximately 45,000 years ago or earlier. Prior to this find, the beads found in the Blombos Cave were the oldest at about 72,000 years old. More than 70 marine shell beads of the sea snail species Nassarius kraussianus have been found in the Blombos Cave. It appears that the marine shells were deliberately pierced through the aperture, probably with a bone tool, thus creating of a small-sized perforation.] Contextual information, morphometric, technological and use-wear analysis of the Blombos Cave beads, alongside experimental reproduction of wear patterns, show that the Nassarius kraussianus shells were strung, perhaps on cord or sinew and worn as a personal ornament. A cluster of 24 perforated Nassarius kraussianus strengthens this interpretation, as it appears that these shells originated from a single beadwork. Beside the deliberate perforation of the Nassarius shells, repeated rubbing of the beads against one another and against the cord, have resulted in discrete use wear facets on each bead that are not observed on these shells in their natural environment. These use-wear patterns are the principal factor that defines the shells as beads. Also, the consistency in shell size and color indicates that the Nassarius shells were carefully selected. Ochre has been detected inside some of the shell beads, implicating that they were subject to deliberate or indirect use of ochre as a coloring agent. [Wikipedia]. Ancient Egyptian Beads in a Danish Burial: The chemical composition of 23 glass beads unearthed in Denmark was examined with plasma-spectrometry, and compared with the trace elements found in beads from Amarna in Egypt and Nippur in Mesopotamia. One of the beads, made of blue glass, had come from a woman’s Bronze Age burial that was excavated in 1880 at the Ølby site. She had been buried in a hollowed-out oak trunk wearing a belt disc, a string skirt with small bronze tubes, a bracelet made of amber beads, and a single blue glass bead. Science Nordic reports that the research team, made up of scientists from Moesgaard Museum, the National Museum of Denmark, Aarhus University, and the Institut de Recherche sur les Archéomatériaux in Orléans, France, matched this bead’s chemical signature to beads made 3,400 years ago in an Egyptian workshop. They now think that Egyptian glass beads, perhaps symbolizing the Egyptian sun cult, traveled north from the Mediterranean on the amber route, which carried Nordic amber south. Amber and glass beads have been found together at sites in the Middle East, Turkey, Greece, Italy, and Germany. [Archaeological Institute of America]. SHIPPING & RETURNS/REFUNDS: We always ship books domestically (within the USA) via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). Most international orders cost an additional $17.99 to $48.99 for an insured shipment in a heavily padded mailer. 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+). Our postage charges are as reasonable as USPS rates allow. 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 fully insured against loss, and our shipping rates include the cost of this coverage (through stamps.com, Shipsaver.com, the USPS, UPS, or Fed-Ex). International tracking is provided free by the USPS for certain countries, other countries are at additional cost. 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. Please note for international purchasers we will do everything we can to minimize your liability for VAT and/or duties. But we cannot assume any responsibility or liability for whatever taxes or duties may be levied on your purchase by the country of your residence. If you don’t like the tax and duty schemes your government imposes, please complain to them. We have no ability to influence or moderate your country’s tax/duty schemes. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked 30-day return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price; 1) less our original shipping/insurance costs, 2) less non-refundable eBay payment processing fees. Please note that eBay does NOT refund payment processing fees. Even if you “accidentally” purchase something and then cancel the purchase before it is shipped, eBay will not refund their processing fees. So all refunds for any reason, without exception, do not include eBay payment processing fees (typically between 5% and 15%) and shipping/insurance costs (if any). If you’re unhappy with eBay’s “no fee refund” policy, and we are EXTREMELY unhappy, please voice your displeasure by contacting eBay. We have no ability to influence, modify or waive EBay policies. ABOUT US: Prior to our retirement we used to travel to Eastern Europe and Central Asia several times a year seeking antique gemstones and jewelry from the globe’s most prolific gemstone producing and cutting centers. Most of the items we offer came from acquisitions we made in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) during these years from various institutions and dealers. Much of what we generate on Etsy, Amazon and Ebay goes to support worthy institutions in Europe and Asia connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. Though we have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, our primary interests are ancient/antique jewelry and gemstones, a reflection of our academic backgrounds. Though perhaps difficult to find in the USA, in Eastern Europe and Central Asia antique gemstones are commonly dismounted from old, broken settings – the gold reused – the gemstones recut and reset. Before these gorgeous antique gemstones are recut, we try to acquire the best of them in their original, antique, hand-finished state – most of them originally crafted a century or more ago. We believe that the work created by these long-gone master artisans is worth protecting and preserving rather than destroying this heritage of antique gemstones by recutting the original work out of existence. That by preserving their work, in a sense, we are preserving their lives and the legacy they left for modern times. Far better to appreciate their craft than to destroy it with modern cutting. Not everyone agrees – fully 95% or more of the antique gemstones which come into these marketplaces are recut, and the heritage of the past lost. But if you agree with us that the past is worth protecting, and that past lives and the produce of those lives still matters today, consider buying an antique, hand cut, natural gemstone rather than one of the mass-produced machine cut (often synthetic or “lab produced”) gemstones which dominate the market today. We can set most any antique gemstone you purchase from us in your choice of styles and metals ranging from rings to pendants to earrings and bracelets; in sterling silver, 14kt solid gold, and 14kt gold fill. When you purchase from us, you can count on quick shipping and careful, secure packaging. We would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from us. There is a $3 fee for mailing under separate cover. I will always respond to every inquiry whether via email or eBay message, so please feel free to write. Condition: LIKE NEW. Unread albeit with very mild "shopwear". See detailed condition description below., Publisher: British Museum (2012), Format: Oversized softcover, Length: 64 pages, Dimensions: 8 x 5¾ inches; ½ pound

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