chapter  1
18 Pages

The nature of jewellery and the nature of the evidence

Meaning and symbolism in jewellery The reasons for buying and wearing jewellery may appear to be selfevident and to have changed little over the centuries. Probably most people would initially quote appearance as the principal motivation: metal and other ornaments are regarded as beautiful in themselves, and are thought to enhance the appearance of the wearer. While this is true as far as it goes, it is only part of the story. Jewellery is still heavily loaded with symbolic values and associations, and there is every reason to believe that these factors were at least as important in antiquity as they are today, if not more so.