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Ancient Jewelry

During the time of Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic period that followed, Macedonia possessed a huge wealth thanks to its military might. Through participating in many military campaigns its citizens became rich. Archaeological findings, particularly in necropoli and tombs which contain expensive jewellery made of gold, silver and bronze imported from many different regions, bear testimony to the wealth of Macedonians from that period. Not only precious metals, but different additions of precious stones, chromatic mass and glass paste were used in the manufacturing of the jewellery. Researchers analysing the jewellery have managed to classify it by origin and other characteristics. The jewellery comes from famous centres of the ancient world or the special workshops that served local tastes. They have also identified the major motifs: anthropomorphic, zoomorphic and floral.

One of the most precious necklaces found in the proximity of Demir Kapija is made of golden leaf. The gold is beaten into thin wire in the shape of twisted eights. The necklace ends up on both ends with a representation of a lion. Similar findings stretch from Thessaly to the Adriatic coast, and even further to Southern Russia. But Russian artefacts also show techniques of granulation and filigree, which the Demir Kapija jewellery lacks. This absence speaks of the antiquity of the necklace dated before the IV century BC, as the techniques of filigree and granulation became dominant only one century later, in the III century BC. In the Ohrid necropolis a similar necklace of twisted eights was found. But the Ohrid necklace has a different zoomorphic element: its ends have the shape of a cow. The presence of the cow, bull and calf speak of the importance of these animals to the different cultures in the region. Similar necklaces were found in the Greek part of Macedonia as well as in the tombs excavated in Budva, Montenegro. Read more …