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Gold earrings


Height: 5.000 cm
Height: 5.000 cm

ME 133529-30

Room 57-59: Ancient Levant

    Gold earrings

    Phoenician, 7th-6th century BC
    From Tharros, Sardinia

    Phoenician jewellery

    These earrings, in the form of an ankh cut out of sheet gold soldered to a hoop, were among the many similar earrings from over seventy Phoenician tombs excavated at Tharros. The style of earring preserves the Egyptianizing tradition established by the Canaanites in the second millennium BC. Similar earrings occur in tombs at Carthage and Sicily.

    Burial customs at Tharros followed the fashions of Carthage. The body was provided with amulets and personal objects and laid on its back with the feet towards the door of the tomb, which faced east. Written spells and gifts invoked the gods' protection.

    From about 1000 BC Canaanite territory was restricted to the northern coast of the Levant, known to the Greeks as Phoenicia. The Phoenicians turned to the sea to provide the basis of their economy. Their contacts with Sardinia can be traced back to around 1000 BC, but it was not until the eighth century BC that permanent colonies were established on the island. Tharros was one of the most important, and it remained a major trading centre through the Roman period.

    R.D. Barnett and C. Mendleson (eds), Tharros: a catalogue of materi (London, The British Museum Press, 1987)


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