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Currently shown

Laurel-wreath Crown

Location

Possibly TURKEY, SINOPE

Era

Hellenistic Period (323-31 B.C.E.)

Title

Laurel-wreath Crown

Date

4th-2nd c. B.C.E.

Materials

Gold

Dimensions

1.2 x 22.5 x 4.2 cm

Credits

Purchase, gift of Harry A. Norton, inv. 1939.Db.9

Collection

Archeology and World Cultures

The oldest gold objects known, dating from the fifth millennium B.C.E ., come from the Varna necropolis in Bulgaria. Ever since then, gold has mainly been employed to fashion adornments for the body. During the Hellenistic era in the Mediterranean region, gold crowns imitating those made of laurel, oak, ivy, myrtle or olive leaves were placed in tombs to honour the dead. Made of thin sheets of hammered gold, they were too fragile to be worn by the living. Goldsmiths were highly skilled at maximizing their aesthetic and symbolic dimensions through the use of a minimum amount of the precious metal.

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