Materials & Techniques

Silver Jewelry in the Ancient Mediterranean

Although silver rarely occurs in nature in metallic form, silver-containing ores are found throughout the Mediterranean area. Because the metal is attacked by corrosives in tombs, little silver jewelry has survived from antiquity, though one assumes that silver was used as much as or more than gold in jewelry making. Silver and lead are by-products of the refining of galena ores and other resources by the cupellation method. Fragments of silver hinge pins can be seen on a pair of a bauletto earrings (1991.75.15.a-b) in the collection of the Dallas Museum of Art.

Excerpt from

Barbara Deppert-Lippitz, with contributions from Anne R. Bromberg and John Dennis, Ancient Gold Jewelry at the Dallas Museum of Art__ (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art in association with the University of Washington Press, 1996), 20.