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23
Dec
2017

Archaeological find shows aristocratic jewels in Jericho

It always fascinates us when any kind of ancient jewellery is discovered, as we talked about recently on these pages when a metal detector's haul was valued at more than £100,000.

That's why we were intrigued to read about an ongoing archaeological dig in the Middle Eastern city of Jericho, which has turned up some beautiful pieces belonging to a young aristocrat.

The Italian-Palestinian dig has been active in Tell es-Sultan (20km from modern Jerusalem) since 1997, so there must really be enough there to keep them busy!

However, the latest find was of real historical significance, as it showed the location was wealthy long before its mentions in the Bible, National Geographic Australia reports.

The team has uncovered a home occupied around 5,000 years ago, which incorporated a palatial room and, beneath, the unique and elite burial site of a young girl and her attendant dating back to 1,800 BC.

Her position indicates status - as does the enormous haul of jewellery that was placed beside her to accompany her to the afterlife. Archaeologists discovered two pairs of bronze earrings, a bronze bracelet, a pin on the left shoulder that might once have held a robe closed,  a bead and crystal necklace and  a bronze signet ring inscribed with a scarab.

There was also a jug that may have held sweet-smelling perfume next to the girl's skull and mother of pearl shells holding the remains of kohl eyeliner.

It really is proof that with growing wealth came a desire to look good that we still share today - and some of the pieces of jewellery are designed in ways that are clearly recognisable from today's looks.

We'll never know the story of the young girl who owned them, but the jewellery is fascinating in itself.

The news comes after an Iron Age tomb brimming with jewellery including gold and amber was discovered by the River Danube earlier this year. We also recall a find in Greece back in 2015, which uncovered the burial site of a male warrior with all of his jewellery too - proving that it wasn't just the ancient women who liked to accessorise!

We don't know about you, but we'd love to come across some really old necklaces or bracelets while out on a country walk - it hasn't happened yet, but we can live in hope and keep on reading these interesting stories until it does.