Thursday, April 7, 2011

Beads From Long Ago

While in England last week, I visited the British Museum. My sister, the history enthusiast, dragged me to see the Rosetta Stone. After much complaining about how I would rather be shopping in Harrods, I gave in and went to the museum. Don't get me wrong. I do enjoy going to museums, but as we only had one day in London, I just wanted to shop, shop and shop some more! Below is a picture of the Rosetta Stone.

Once we were in the museum, I was happily surprised to find how much jewelry, and textiles they had on display there. Once we made our stop to see the Rosetta stone, we started to look through the various other rooms in the museum and I came across these wonderful old beads! Strands of Lapis Lazuli, Carnelian and Gold were strung together to create these wonderful necklaces. These beads were found in a tomb from 2500 BC. The beads were found scattered and have been restrung. The Lapis would have come from Afghanistan, the Carnelian and Gold from India, Turkey, Iran or Egypt.

This reconstructed head suggests the original arrangement of the jewelry worn by the Sumerian women in the Royal graves.

In the next room, we came across this stunning gold cape from the Early Bronze Age about 1900 - 1600BC. The cape was crushed and pieced back together by the museum. This cape was very unique, so the owner must have been someone of very high status.

This picture shows how the cape would have been worn.

Next, I came across these stunning gold Torcs. What is a Torc you ask??? It is a large ornament made from precious metals or bronze and worn around the neck. They were common across Britain and Europe during the Iron Age.

In the last room of the museum we stumbled across traditional dresses. This one with all the embroidery caught my attention. These dresses are worn by Omani women living in the Capital Area around Muscat.

Overall, the British Museum had quite a large number of jewelry and textile pieces that were very interesting. I guess I will have to thank my sister for dragging me along to see the Rosetta Stone afterall!


  1. Love these pictures. They have gorgeous Egyptian jewelry at the Brooklyn Museum and I can never get over how, even though it is thousands of years old, the pieces feel like you could wear them today!

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