Indiana University Indiana University IU

Browse the collection

Group of Jewelry: Necklace with Melon-shaped Beads and Five Spiral Ring Attachments

The necklace in this set has beads of gold, lapis lazuli, and hematite. The largest beads are spherical and ribbed like melons: nine of them are made of lapis lazuli and two are gold. Five spiral rings of gold are also included in this group.

The necklace in this set has beads of gold, lapis lazuli, and hematite. The largest beads are spherical and ribbed like melons: nine of them are made of lapis lazuli and two are gold. Five spiral rings of gold are also included in this group.

Culture Sumerian
Title Group of Jewelry: Necklace with Melon-shaped Beads and Five Spiral Ring Attachments
Date 2700?2300 BCE
Medium Gold, lapis lazuli, and and hematite
Dimensions
Credit Line Burton Y. Berry Collection, Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University
Accession Number 69.76.1

Share this artwork!

About this Work
The development of irrigation, writing, and law codes in the city-states of Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) led to thriving communities that fostered art production. Sumerian artists, in particular, used materials such as lapis lazuli and gold as inlays in sumptuous furniture, ritual objects, and jewelry. Neither gold nor lapis lazuli, however, was available in Sumer or anywhere in Mesopotamia. Well-developed trade routes brought the dark blue stone from Afghanistan, and the gold probably came from Egypt or Anatolia (modern Turkey). The effort expended to access the materials added to the value of these objects as luxury items, and necklaces like this one seem to have been favored by Sumerian queens; similar examples have been found in the royal tombs at Ur.



Provenance
Provenance research is ongoing for this and many other items in the Eskenazi Museum of Art permanent collection. For more information on the provenance of European paintings, sculptures, and drawings produced before 1946, please see our Nazi-Era Provenance Research Project. For all other inquiries, please contact the department curator with specific questions.


Viewing Information
This item is currently off display. You may be able to see this artwork by filling out an art viewing room request.

Download this Image
The Eskenazi Museum of Art provides images of its collection, free of charge, upon request. This artwork is not under copyright protection, so you can request the image and it will be emailed to you when the request is complete.

Cite this Page
"Group of Jewelry: Necklace with Melon-shaped Beads and Five Spiral Ring Attachments | Collections Online." Collections Online. Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, 2020. https://artmuseum.indiana.edu/collections-online/browse/object.php?number=69.76.1