The extraordinary Treasure of El Carambolo, which was found in El Carambolo, Spain, 1958 during renovations being made at a pigeon shooting society. The hoard was thought to be buried in the 6th century BCE.
The discovery of the Treasure of El Carambolo sparked interest in the Tartessos culture, though it is still under debate whether these treasures were a product of local culture, or of the Phoenicians.
Courtesy & currently located at the Archaeological Museum of Seville, Spain. Photos taken by José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro.
Sheet gold finger and toe coverings, plus sandals, from the tomb of three minor wives of Thutmose III at Wady Gabbanat el-Qurud, circa 1479-1425 B.C.
Archaic Greek Assemblage from a Warrior’s Burial, 6th century BC, made of bronze.
This helmet with a mask, separate nose piece, band, ring, and plaque were found, with other bronze armor, in a tomb in northern Greece. The helmet, cast with beaded and incised edges, is of a type possibly developed in the Peloponnese in the 7th century BC and later used in Illyria (a region northwest of Greece) and other foreign lands. The other objects are made of hammered sheet gold.
Courtesy & currently located at the Walters Art Museum, USA.
Detail of an embroidered silk gauze ritual garment from a 4th century BC, Zhou era tomb at Mashan, Hubei province, China. The flowing, curvilinear design incorporates dragons, phoenixes, and tigers. Rows of even, round chain-stitches are used both for outline and to fill in color.
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Ancient Greek Bracelets from the Olbia Treasure, Elements: late 2nd century BC; Setting: 1st century BC (Greco-Roman).
Courtesy & currently located at the Walters Art Museum, USA:
This outstanding example of jewelry from the 1st-century-BC Greek colonies in the Black Sea region is purported to belong to the famed Olbia treasure, named for the town in present-day Ukraine in which it was discovered at the end of the 19th century. Whether the bracelets, necklaces, earrings, dress ornaments, and other items in the Walters’ collection really came from the same tomb remains unclear.
These impressive bracelets have a centerpiece linked by hinges to the two arms. Each bracelet can be closed with a pin that runs through intertwining hoops. The lavish embellishment includes granulation, cloisonné work, and beading as well as multicolored enamel and gemstone inlays in various settings. Using multiple colors and sizes of gemstones became common in Greek jewelry making after the conquest of the East by Alexander the Great (356-323 BC), which opened up new trade routes and introduced the Greeks to Oriental styles.
Pendant with the head of the river god Achelous, Etruscan.
Courtesy & currently located at the Louvre, France:
This gold necklace, from the early 5th century BC, is a splendid example of the imaginative decoration and virtuoso techniques used by Etruscan goldsmiths of the Archaic period. The repoussé pendant, with details in graining and filigree, represents the river god Achelous, identified by his extensive beard and bull-like horns. His image was thought to have protective powers. A masterpiece of the Campana collection, the pendant inspired a number of 19th-century copies.
Photo taken by Bibi Saint-Pol
The ancient golden Helmet of Coţofeneşti, is a Geto-Dacian helmet dating from the first half of the 4th century BC. The helmet was uncovered by chance by a child on the territory of the village of Poiana Coţofeneşti (now Poiana Vărbilău), Romania.
This is an exceptionally well preserved helmet, missing only the part of its skull cap. It is made of pure gold, almost a kilogram in weight, and displays the “autochthonous character” of this artwork. The helmet is decorated with two large apotropaic eyes, intended to ward off the evil eye and magical spell. It is believed to have once belonged to an unknown local Geto-Dacian local aristocratic noble or a king from around 400 BC.
One theory suggests that this item was the sacred helmet of Zalmoxis, the living god-prophet of the Dacians. It has, however, never been proven.
The extensive decorations depict an illustration, (on either cheek-piece), of a ritual enactment, as well as depictions of a range of mythical creations.
The cheek-pieces of the Poiana-Coţofeneşti helmet show a ram being sacrificed by a man who kneels on its body and is about to cut its throat with a short knife. The iconography on the right side of the helmet is of a great interest, and has been interpreted in light of the tauroctony scene from the Mithraic Mysteries. Environment and affluence might well account for a change to a larger beast in the species offered and a similar interpretation of a bull-slaying episode. This sacrifice of the ram might have been performed by the “king-priest-god”
The pair of Voracious Beasts on the Coţofeneşti neck-guard occupy a lower register along with a similar creature deprived of a victim’s leg. This motif of the “Voracious Beast” is found earlier in Assyrian art, and was popular among the Etruscans. Phoenicia was probably the intermediary for its transferral to Italy and around the Adriatic, but Voracious Beast must also have traveled through Asia Minor to appear in a North Thracian idiom not only on the Coţofeneşti neck-guard but also in high relief on the base of the Aghighiol beakers (Aghighiol is a village near the Danube Delta in eastern Romania).
The upper register displays a row of three seated or squatting winged creatures, rather monkey-like with human faces, long forearms, and long tails. These, however, are surely direct, if run-down, descendants of the sphinxes on a gold beaker from Amlash.
The decorations such as rosette, strips, triangles, spiral and others are specific Geto-Dacian art motifs. The scene of sacrifice the ram is an oriental Iranian theme that entered in the Greek art and from there in the ‘barbarian’ art. Therefore, the helmet seems to have been realized in a Greek workshop. But, in the same time the awkward technique of execution that contrasts with the perfect technique of a Greek craftsman points out to an autochthonous one. (x)