Search in Turkey Carpets and Rugs Turkish Cuisine Site Search

The Lydian Treasure



Height 6.3 cm. ; width 14.6 cm. ; weight 151.20 gr.

The pectoral is in the form of a winged solar disk. The gold setting contains a disk of layered carnelian agate, cut so that a white layer between two layers of red creates a narrow inner border. Wings and tail have cloisonne filled with carnelian, turquoise and a brown metamorphic stone. Below a curved gold shoulder border are three rows of short feathers, turquoise flanking brown stone, above three rows of elongated feathers. The upper row of long feathers are carnelian, the centre row turquoise, and the bottom row cut from the brown stone. The feathers of the two upper rows have rounded ends, those of the lower row have pointed ends. The triangular interstices around the lower edge are filled mostly with turquoise, and some brown stone. The tail has two rows of elongated feathers, the upper row turquoise, the lower of brown stone; again the interstices are filled mostly with turquoise, and some brown stone. The back of the pectoral is plain gold. Near the upper tip of each wing is soldered a small ring, serving for the attachment of a length of multiple loop-in-Ioop chain. At the attachment end the chains terminate in plain cylindrical collars with open wire rings which are hooked through the rings on the pectoral. At the other end, one chain is looped, the other terminates in a toggle. The toggle has cloisonne forming a rosette of two rows of eight pointed petals which radiate from a circular centre. The filling of the petals is mostly missing; one outer petal still contains turquoise, one interstal space contains carnelian.
   The winged solar disk is a common Achaemenid motif, borrowed ultimately from Egypt. It appears, for example, on obviously Persian-influenced gold applique plaques from Sardis. Another close comparison is a winged sun-disk on a glazed brick wall from Susa, where the same colours are used for the feathers, and the sun-disk also has an outer white border. The motif also appears on a silver phi ale from Ikiztepe . Agate cut in circles and ovals with narrow inner white borders is also common in Achaemenid jewellery; for example, the bracelet no. 129, beads of a necklace from Çayiralan near Yozgat (Ankara Museum of Anatolian Civilizations AMM 15128), and beads from Susa and Pasargadae. The technique is attested from royal graves of the 8th century BC at Nimrod in Assyria.


This site prepared by Tayfun Kalyoncu on 28.02.1997 and last updated on 01.05.1999.
For any comments and suggestion please send an e-mail using the form at page mailform.html