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The Lydian Treasure



Length 15.5 cm. ; diameter of spiral-form beads 0.7 cm. ; weight 6.4 gr.

The necklace is composed of a total of twenty-one beads of four different kinds -seventeen quadruple spirals of two kinds, two of a slender 'lyre' motif, and two melon beads. Both kinds of quadruple spirals are made from two lengths of block twist gold wire with each end coiled into a spiral and placed in a 'clover leaf' arrangement, In the centre of each spiral is a granular sphere, and there is a fifth in the centre of the 'clover leaf, In six examples the wire that forms each pair of spirals has an Scurve and the central granule is secured by a wire frame, In the other eleven examples the spiral pairs are formed like Ionic capitals and mounted on a square plaque of sheet, the outer curve of each spiral outlined by tiny granulation spheres, and with no wire frame around the central granule, Both upper and lower pair of coils are soldered to a plain cylindrical tube of sheet. through each of which the necklace was threaded. The 'lyre' beads are also formed of filigree wire mounted on a plaque of sheet and outlined by granulation. The spirals at the narrow end of each bead coil outwards, those at the broad end coil inwards, Both have inner ornamentation where the spirals at either end join; on one bead the ornamentation consists of wire loops, on the other of granulation clusters.

Two cylindrical tubes attached to the back of each plaque are placed at an
angle, touching at the narrow end, Where the two threads of the necklace emerge close together and pass through a melon bead Which has a ring of hammered. square-section twisted wire around each perforation.
The quadruple spiral motif has a long history in the jewellery of Anatolia and the Near East, beginning in the 3rd millennium BC (at Troy, Alacahöyük and, later. Kultepe-Kanesh in Anatolia, and Tell Brak, Ur, Mari and other Mesopotamian sites) and continuing in northwest Iran, at Marlik and Ziwiye. into the 7th century BC. In all those examples. however, the spirals are associated with a tubular stem from which the wires spring or to which they are fastened.


This site prepared by Tayfun Kalyoncu on 28.02.1997 and last updated on 01.05.1999.
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