Necklace

CULTURE:
Roman Empire
DATE:
2nd century CE
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General Description

In both Hellenistic and Roman times, gold sources in southern Russia and the Caucasus were available to Mediterranean craftsmen. Sources even farther afield, such as India and Nubia, led to a rich repertory of gold jewelry. Trade through these outposts of empire left many local people wealthy and able to afford Greek or Roman style ornaments, leading to the widespread occurence of such lavish types of jewelry. This example is said to come from Georgia, east of the Black Sea, or Nabataea, in what is now Jordan and northern Arabia, where the Aramaic-speaking trading communities were very wealthy during the Roman Empire.

This necklace consists of heavily granulated pendants, six of which are decorated with cabochon (dome-shaped) garnets. A larger and more elaborate box pendant hangs from the necklace and is decorated with granulation, four cabochon garnets, hawk heads in relief, and seven loops from which hang braided gold chains with globular pendants. The combination of gold and gemstones in typical of luxurious Roman jewelry, as seen in a pair of Roman earrings also in the collection of the Dallas Museum of Art (1996.35.A-B).

Adapted from

  • Barbara Deppert-Lippitz, Ancient Gold Jewelry at the Dallas Museum of Art (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art in association with the University of Washington Press, 1996), 145.

  • Anne Bromberg, DMA unpublished material, 1995.