Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ancient Greek Jewellery

Recently I was going through my jewellery box polishing and inspecting some of my trinkets when I remembered I had a very special pendant that I purchased a few years back whilst visiting Crete in the Greek Islands.

We had visited Knossos, the largest Minoan Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete, earlier in the day and then had made our way to the Heraklion Archaeological Museum which was basically a hop, skip and jump from our hotel, to view some of the ancient artefacts that had been unearthed at various sites around Crete.

Next door to the Museum was a jewellery shop and of course some of the pieces in the window caught my eye. Amongst them was a gold pendant that had been fashioned on a piece of jewellery that I had seen and admired in the museum. I have since discovered that the orignal pendant was not actually found at Knossos, but not far from the Place of Malia which is the third largest of the Minoan Places and that my pendant is known as The Malia Bee.

The Palace of Malia, which covered an area of 7,500 sq.m., is considered the most "provincial" from an architectural point of view and according to tradition the third son of Zeus and Europa, Sarpedon, had ruled there.

About 500m north of the palace was the Necropolis or royal burial enclosure, which most certainly belonged to the ancient lords of Malia. It was surrounded on all four sides by levelled areas and possibly Porticoes.
This is where the now famous Bee pendant which is on display at the Museum was found.

The pendant is in the shape of two bees, or wasps, storing away a drop of honey in a comb.

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