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Adorning the Body

As adornment intended to be worn and displayed on the body, jewelry conveyed important information about wearers’ status, age, and gender. Ornaments made of gold and precious stones represented not only an individual’s wealth, but by extension the wealth of an entire family. The aesthetics of ancient jewelry drew heavily from a repertory of motifs popular in the ancient world, especially plant patterns like vines and petals. 

 

Exhibit Items

Necklace

Roman, 3rd century; gold; 76 cm (29 15/16 in.). BZ.1947.26

Necklace

Late Roman, 3rd–4th century; gold, modern pearls; 34.5 × 1.5 cm (13 ½ × 9/16 in.). BZ.1950.12

Necklace

Roman, 2nd–3rd century; gold, glass paste; 29.2 × 2.2 × 1.3 cm (11 1/2 × 7/8 × 1/2 in.). BZ.1938.69.1

Pendant

Roman, 2nd–3rd century; gold, glass paste, pearls; 9 cm (3 9/16 in.). BZ.1938.69.2

Earring

Hellenistic, late 4th–early 3rd century BCE; gold; 4.6 cm (1 13/16 in.). BZ.1961.23

Earring

Hellenistic, late 4th–early 3rd century BCE; gold; 2.7 cm (1 1/16 in.). BZ.1961.24

Ring

Late Roman, 4th century; rock crystal; 4.5 × 1.9 × 3.8 cm (1 3/4 × 3/4 × 1 1/2 in.). BZ.1963.6

Pair of Earrings

Hellenistic, late 4th–early 3rd century BCE; gold; 2 cm (13/16 in.). BZ.1940.25

Ring

Late Roman, 4th–5th century; gold, stone; 2 cm (13/16 in.). BZ.1957.52

Ring

Early Byzantine, 7th century; gold, pearls, sapphire; 2 cm (13/16 in.). BZ.1953.12.80