Excavations at the ancient Mesopotamian site of Ur uncovered the remains of the city and a Sumerian cemetery dating to the third millennium B.C. The so-called royal graves at Ur contained many extraordinary finds, including jewelry of gold, carnelian, and lapis lazuli. A choker and four strands of beads in the Museum’s collection (ca. 2600–2500 B.C.) came from these lavish graves. The blue lapis lazuli and gleaming gold used to make these adornments provide a rich sense of contrasting color and may have had amuletic properties. They certainly evoked distant lands, because the materials are not native to Mesopotamia; the lapis lazuli would have originated in Afghanistan and the gold would have traveled from Iran, Anatolia, or even faraway Egypt. Our mesmerizing bangle is based on these ancient treasures.
18K gold overlay, hand enameled. 1/2''W; inner circumference: 7 1/2''.