Ancient Greece Culture


Different types of jewelry were produced in the Hellenistic period of Ancient Greece-Necklaces, earrings, pendants, pins, bracelets, armbands, thigh bands, finger rings, wreaths, diadems, and other elaborate hair ornaments.

Bracelets were often worn in pairs or in matched sets. Pieces were usually inlaid with pearls and dazzling gems or semiprecious stones-emeralds, garnets, carnelians, banded agates, sardonyx, chalcedony, and rock crystal. Artists also incorporated colorful enamel inlays that dramatically contrasted with their intricate gold settings.

Hinged ring, 2nd-1st century B.C.; Hellenistic Greek
Armband with Herakles knot, Hellenistic, 3rd-2nd century B.C. Greek

Elaborate subsidiary ornamentation drew plant and animal motifs, or the relation between adornment and the goddess, Aphrodite, and her son, Eros. Popular designs for earrings included; Airborne winged figures, such as Eros, Nike, and the eagle of Zeus carrying Ganymede up to Mount Olympus.

Ganymede Jewelry, Hellenistic, 330-300 B.C.

In Hellenistic times, jewelry was often passed down through generation. Occasionally, it was dedicated at sanctuaries as offerings to the gods. There are records of headdresses, necklaces, bracelets, rings, brooches, and pins in temple and treasury inventories, as, for example, at Delos. Hoards of Hellenistic jewelry that were buried for safekeeping in antiquity have also come to light. Some of the best-preserved samples come from tombs where jewelry was usually placed on the body of the deceased. Some of these pieces were made specifically for interment; however, most were worn during life.

Gemstone Necklaces

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