The Lavish History Of Prehistoric Jewelry
March 30th, 2017
The embellishment of jewelry has been implemented by mankind since the dawn of time. It was one of the earliest forms of body adornment and Nassarius shell beads as old as 100,000 years old have recently been found. Jewelry has been used for both decoration and functionality. Throughout history, it has been used for pinning clothes together, storage of items such as coins, and to display status and wealth. Most cultures had a treasure-trove of wealth consisting of mainly of ornaments and precious gems. It also used to be customary for families to give dowries with the betrothal of their daughters, frequently including jewelry.
Jewelry During the Early Ages
Some of the earliest crafters of jewelry were the Cro-Magnons around 40,000 years ago. Jewelry fashioned from bone, teeth, stone, mammoth tusk, and sometimes mother-of-pearl were commonly found in the graves of the Cro-Magnons. Simple necklaces and bracelets were suspended on pieces of animal sinew or string. Carved bone was also used to hold clothing together. Copper was first used about 7,000 years ago.
The Ancient Egyptians were the first established jewelry makers. Between 3,000 and 5,000 years ago, the Egyptians began working with gold which they favored over other metals. Even though they had abundant access to gemstones, the Egyptians preferred to use colored glass pieces rather than precious gems. Since the colors used in the jewelry were very significant and important, they had very specific formulations for creating glass that was exactly the desired color. For instance, green symbolized fertility and new growth for crops and red was used to satisfy Isisí need for blood. Egyptian jewelry was normally crafted in workshops attached to palaces or temples.
In Greece, jewelry was predominately worn by women on special occasions and for public appearances. It was often given as a gift and was used to show social status, wealth, and beauty. The Greeks used gold and gems, especially emeralds, amethysts, and pearls. Later, silver, ivory, bronze, clay, and other gems were also utilized. Some of their jewelry was religiously symbolic while others were supposed to grant the wearer protection or supernatural powers. Some of todayís fashion jewelry got its start in Ancient Greece. Cameos, for example, were first created by Greek craftsmen.
The Romans were also renowned for their contributions to the art of jewelry making. The brooch, which is still popular today, was originally created by the Romans to secure clothing together. They were known for their use of imported materials such as sapphires, amber, emeralds, and diamonds. Roman women wore a lot more jewelry than men, usually men wore only one finger ring though some wore rings on every finger. Rings with carved stone were used to produce a wax seal on documents, a custom that continued with noblemen and kings through the middle ages. Although jewelry evolved over the years, and is still evolving to this day, the foundation of its embellishment and functionality began in ancient times. We owe a lot to our primordial predecessors who paved the way in gold and exquisite jewels.