Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A jewelry history

Students of the natural sciences are in agreement when they say that of all the creatures in the animal kingdom, only humans seek to adorn themselves. Even as far in the past as primitive man, jewelry took on this role in a variety of forms.. Small objects were of primary importance, with some examples being found in the early Neolithic strata of the caverns in mas d’avil. It was here that many pierces stags’ teeth were discovered, often still in the shape of a necklace with its holding twine long since disintegrated. (Jewelry objects have now been found in pre-historic Africa that date back about 75,000 years.)
Closely related to the human need for ornamentation was the use of jewelry as amulets endowed with magical powers. For a true understanding of the growth and history of the importance of jewelry and precious stones, one has to be aware of the indelible belief that precious stones could affect the fortunes of the wearer.
Jewelry was made with certain convictions in mind, to meld into, conform to and strengthen beliefs. This was particularly true when religions began to form an important sociological bond.
Early in its inception, jewelry was associated with religious rites. Gold and jewels were used as gifts for the maintenance of worship. In accordance with this began the presumption that benefits could be derived from their wear and soon began the development of a complex network of fictitious powers being attributed to them. Curiously, many of these legends surrounding the benefits of certain stones were generally held all over the world. Gold and certain gems common to many parts of the globe were believed to yield similar virtues.

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