THE GREAT MIGRATION: GARNETS OF ANCIENT JEWELRY

 

THE GREAT MIGRATION: GARNETS OF ANCIENT JEWELRY

New types of jewelry were created during the Hellenistic period (323-31 BC) when the conquests of Alexander the Great triggered cultural integration throughout his vast empire.  Polychrome style became widespread, making extensive use of semi-precious and precious stones. Garnet was favored by jewelers across the vast Hellenistic world from Egypt to India. As the supplies of garnet began to dwindle in the 6th century AD, cloisonne enamel became a reputable decorative option.

The armies of Alexander the Great reached Scythia in 331 when Alexander’s commander Zopirion besieged the Greek colony Olbia. The combined forces of Greek colonists and Scythian mounted archers broke the siege and defeated Alexander’s army. However, other military encounters of Scythians with Alexander’s armies were less successful.

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IMAGE CITATION:

1.  Bottle-Amulet with Wicker Beading, 3rd-2nd Centuries B.C.

Gold, garnet, chrysocolla: forging, stamping, encrustation

2. Cup, 1st Century B.C.-1st Century A.D.

Gold, garnet: hammering, soldering, granulation

3. Necklace (Hryna), 3rd-1st Centuries B.C.

Gold, garnet: hammering, soldering

4.  Earrings, 1st-5th Centuries A.D.

Gold, amethyst, glass,enamel: forging, soldering, casting, encrustation, filligree

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