6th century BCE
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General Description

Very little Archaic Greek jewelry has survived from antiquity, although the large variety of diadems, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets in vase painting and on sculpture leaves no doubt that such ornaments were extremely popular in 6th and 5th century BCE Greece. In this necklace, spherical pasta vitrea (glass paste) beads in different shapes alternate with sheet-gold tubes and globular gold beads. The beads of pasta vitrea imitate banded agate. Triangular and oval pendants with layers of brown, blue or green, and black and white form the center of the necklace. The arrangement of the beads and pendants is a modern reconstruction.

The glass beads and pendants of necklaces like these, made to imitate banded agate, seem to date to the Archaic period, although such simple forms were produced for many centuries and are hard to date accurately.

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), 61; 136.

Fun Facts

  • Composed necklaces are typical for the Archaic period in Greece. Because they were usually strung on perishable strings, the proper arrangement of the different elements of necklaces is often uncertain.