Many grand civilisations inhabited the area of Western Asia in Antiquity, and their wealth and prosperity are witnessed by the very sophisticated precious metal crafting of jewellery. Gold would have been hammered down to a thin layer and manipulated into different shapes, with gold and silver jewellery featuring gold granules, glass and semi-precious stone inlays and detailed engravings. Their fine detailed craftsmanship was later adopted by the Greeks, Etruscans and Romans.
Lapis lazuli stone was highly regarded in Mesopotamia and the Near East in general. Rulers and members of the elite had the custom of being buried with ornaments made partly or entirely of this semi-precious stone, originally from Afghanistan. The first use of this beautiful, vibrant rich blue stone dates back to the Neolithic, when it was first mined in Afghanistan and exported to the Mediterranean area and South Asia.
To discover more about jewellery in the Ancient World, please visit our relevant post: Jewellery in Antiquity.