Ancient Jewellery: Origins and Influence

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Ancient Jewellery: Origins and Influence

<p>Is there anything more alluring than ancient treasure? Trace the dazzling and complex beauty of ancient jewellery beginning with the mining of precious metals and stones and revealing many

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Is there anything more alluring than ancient treasure? Trace the dazzling and complex beauty of ancient jewellery beginning with the mining of precious metals and stones and revealing many extraordinary and unusual ancient sites. The desire for adornment has primitive origins which developed into works of incredible complexity and beauty. The finished products, including bracelets, clothes pins, necklaces, rings crowns and masks, were the glory of the cultures of Egypt, Greece and Rome – and greatly influenced the most famous jewellery designers over the years.


SUGGESTED READING

  • Aldred, C., 1971, Jewels of the Pharaohs, London
  • Andrews, C. 1994, Amulets of Ancient Egypt, London
  • Andrews, C., 1997, Ancient Egyptian Jewellery, London
  • Easton, D., Ed., 1996, The Gold of Troy: Searching for Homer’s Fabled City, London
  • Friedman, F., 1998, Gifts of the Nile: Ancient Egyptian Faience, London
  • Hope, C., 1988, Gold of the Pharaohs, (catalogue for an exhibition travelling in Australia the same year), Melbourne
  • Marazov, I., Ed, 1998, Ancient Gold: Wealth of the Thracians, New York
  • Pinckemelle, K., 2008, The Iconography of Greek and Roman Jewellery, Glasgow
  • Pliastsika, V., 2012, Simply Divine: The jewellery, dress and body adornment of the Mycenaean clay female figures in the light of new evidence from Mycenae, in Aegeum 33: Kosmos: Jewellery, Adornment and Textiles in the Aegean Bronze Age – the whole edition (over 600 pages) is available FREE as an E-Book or a downloadable PDF.
  • Reeder, E.D., 1999, Skythian Gold: Treasures from Ancient Unkraine, New York
  • Shepherd, R., 1993, Ancient Mining, London
  • Williams, D., and Ogden, J., 1994, Greek Gold: Jewellery of the Classical World, London


COURSE OUTLINE
We will travel all over Europe, the Mediterranean, Africa, and the Near (an occasionally not so near) East looking for the exotic sources of the precious metals, stones and other materials used in ancient jewellery. This will involve delving into myth as well as fact, and look at mining and manufacture of jewellery, and the religious aspects associated with mines, metallurgy and artisans. The symbolism of gemstones and their use in jewellery, amulets and religious decoration will also be discussed, and the many different types of adornment used by ancient men, women and children over several thousand years will be displayed using brilliant photos, illustrations and maps. We will conclude by looking at the influence of ancient jewellery on the great designers such as Boucheron, Cartier and Tiffany.


PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Discover the locations of several very unusual ancient sites associated with mining and production of materials used by ancient artisans.
  2. Gain insight into the many and varied ingredients (such as precious metals, gems, faience, pearls, amber), and intriguing methods involved in making ancient jewellery.
  3. Enjoy a greater appreciation of the diversity and beauty of the many different types of adornment used by ancient people from the Neolithic to the late Roman eras.
  4. Have an explanation of the symbolism and religious aspects of jewellery – especially amulets, and the deities connected with mining, artisans, and the various materials they used.
  5. Understand the influence of the ''old masters" on the master jewellers of later times.