When was Jewelry Invented?
Jewelry has been created and coveted by human beings seemingly since the beginning of our species. There are many examples found in museums all over the world of our ancient ancestors unbelievable, unique, and intricate pieces filled with spiritual and religious meaning, which were often used for ceremonial use. There are many eras which each have their own unique designs and trends, dating back hundreds if not thousands of years.
So, When Was Jewelry Invented?
The earliest known jewelry was actually created not by humans as we are known as now (Homo Sapiens), but by Neanderthal living in Europe. Beads made from small sea shells dating back to 115,000 years have been discovered in a cave along the southeast coast of Spain.
One of our favorite pieces here at Temple of Amara, The famous “Venus of Hohle Fels”, also known as the Venus of Schelklingen, is an Upper Paleolithic Venus figurine made of mammoth ivory a cave near Schelklingen, Germany. It is dated to have been made sometime between 40,000 and 35,000 years ago!
A little newer, yet still absolutely ancient, is a find of jewelry which has been dated at around 25,000 years ago. It is a simple necklace made of fish bones was found in a cave in Monaco.
The earliest pieces of jewelry that can be traced back to the civilizations were found in an area that bloomed and prospered in the Mediterranean around 3,000 to 400 BC, which is now known in modern times as “Iran”. The ancient pieces found here are usually simple stone amulets and seals. Many of these amulets and seals carried spiritual meanings and often displayed stars and floral designs. Jewelry was often used as an offering to the gods and was used to dress up statues and idols.
In “The Royal Tombs” in ancient Sumner, which date back to 3000 BC, an amazing collection of jewelry was preserved. There was found mummies encrusted with every imaginable type of jewelry worn; Crowns, headdresses, necklaces, earrings, rings, and pins and broaches.
Then there are the ancient Egyptians; they too wore amulets and talismans. The carved scarab beetle comes to mind when thinking of common items found amongst ancient Egyptian jewelry. Another common symbol found is the ankh, which represents the symbol of life. The Egyptians also made bracelets of multiple strains of colored gemstones such as amethyst, carnelian, green feldspar, and turquoise. Also, the first known emerald mines were in Egypt, dating from at least 330 BC into the 1700s. In fact, Cleopatra was known to have a love and passion for emerald, and used it often in her royal adornments.
Humankinds love for jewelry has dwelled within us for tens of thousands of years, and shall persist and grow for many more to Come. Thank you for visiting Temple of Amara!