Gold necklace

Late Bronze Age, about 14th-13th century BC
Possibly from western modern Turkey

This necklace may date to the time of the expansion of the Hittite Empire from central Anatolia westwards towards the Aegean coast and southwards into Syria. The Hittites, however, were not the only people in Turkey at this time. To the west, where this necklace may have originated, lay two powerful neighbours (and occasionally enemies) of the Hittites: Arzawa and Ahhiyawa. During the fourteenth century BC the Hittites and Arzawans took part in the international correspondence with the Egyptian pharaohs known as the Amarna Letters. However, what little we know of Arzawa and Ahhiyawa is based on Hittite cuneiform records which present a very one-sided view. As a result the exact location of these powers is disputed.

There are sources of gold in western and south-western Turkey that may have provided the metal for this necklace. Each of the gold hawk pendants, which are strung on gold wire, originally had three disc pendants attached, but several are missing now.

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More information

Bibliography

H. Tait, Jewellery through 7000 years-1 (London, The British Museum Press, 1976)

Dimensions

Width: 13.100 cm

Museum number

ME 132116

WCO23400

Location

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