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Babylonian Semi-Precious Gemstone Earrings 3000BC $49.99


For Customers outside of USA

5,000 Year Old Ancient Sumerian (Mesopotamian/Babylonian) Black and Gray Agate and Burgundy Bloodstone Semi-Precious Gemstone Beads on (Contemporary) 14kt Gold Fill French Hooks.

CLASSIFICATION: Ten Black and Gray Agate and Blood Stone Gemstone Beads, Hand-Drilled Suspension Holes (Bow Drilled), Hand Shaped and Polished.

ATTRIBUTION: Ancient Sumeria Tigris-Euphrates Region, Approximately 2,900 (3rd Millennium) B.C.

SIZE/DIMENSIONS: Approximately 5 carats (total gemstone weight).

Diameter: 4-5 millimeters (individual beads).

Height: 4-5 millimeters (individual beads).

French Hook Earrings: Contemporary 14kt gold fill.

CONDITION: Exceptional! Gemstone beads are completely intact.

DETAIL: A gorgeous pair of 14kt gold fill earrings featuring genuine ancient blood red/burgundy and black and gray agate gemstones, about 5,000 years old, attributable to the ancient Mesopotamian culture (a.k.a. Sumerian or Babylonian). The burgundy colored agate gemstones are sometimes referred to as “bloodstone” in English. Agate pendants and beads of such construction were quite the fashion statement during the 3rd and 2nd Millenniums B.C. There is even evidence that such beads and pendants were used as a form of currency by the ancient inhabitants of the Mesopotamia region. The ancient city of Ur had a thriving trade in agate, carnelian, turquoise, and lapis lazuli (and other forms of gemstones) as early as the fourth millennium B.C. Since before recorded history evidence suggests that various forms of quartz, including rock crystal, carnelian, and agate were amongst the most favored gemstones for at least the past 10,000 years.

Two of the richest archaeological treasures, the tombs of both the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen and Sumerian Queen Pu-abi's tomb at Ur contained many splendid examples of agate and carnelian jewelry. The Phoenicians traded extensively in various quartz gemstones, including agate. From the Phoenicians the Romans acquired their taste for beautifully colored varieties of agate. For instance, orange carnelian gemstones and jewelry were very popular throughout the Roman Empire, and carnelian was widely used to carve cameos and signet/intaglio rings. With the exception of pearls, used as gemstones by prehistoric man, quartz (crystal, agate, and carnelian), turquoise, and lapis lazuli are the oldest gemstones utilized in the manufacture of jewelry. These extraordinary ancient agate gemstones have been mounted onto 14kt gold fill french hooks of contemporaneous origin. If you prefer, they could be remounted onto sterling silver french hooks for no additional charge.

HISTORY: Agate is a common semiprecious silica mineral, colorful microscopic crystals of quartz, a variety of chalcedony occurs in bands of varying color and transparency. Most agates occur in gas bubble cavities in eruptive rocks or ancient lava. Silica laded water is deposited within the bubbles, and coagulates to a silica gel, eventually crystallizing as quartz agate. Agate is found in a wide variety of patterns and beautiful colors, and can be transparent to opaque. Agate is named after its ancient source, the Achates River in Sicily, now known as the Drillo River, which remains a major source of this gemstone. Agate was highly valued as a talisman or amulet in ancient times. It was said to quench thirst and protect from fevers. Persian magicians were believed to possess the power to divert storms through the use of agate talismans. A famous collection of four thousand agate bowls was accumulated by Mithradates, king of Pontus, and is illustrative of the high value the ancient world had for agate. Agate bowls were also popular in the Byzantine Empire. Collecting agate bowls became common among European royalty during the Renaissance and many museums in Europe, including the Louvre, have spectacular examples.

The oldest known communities in Mesopotamia are thought to date from 9,000 B.C., and include the ancient city of Babylon. Several civilizations flourished in the fertile area created as the Tigris and Euphrates rivers flow south out of Turkey. The river valleys and plains of Mesopotamia, often referred to as the “fertile crescent”, lay between the two rivers, which are about 250 miles apart from one another. The ancient Sumerians and Babylonians were inhabitants of Mesopotamia, located in a region that included parts of what is now eastern Syria, southeastern Turkey, and most of Iraq, lay between two rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates. According to the Bible, Abraham came from this area. The area is commonly referred to as "the fertile crescent" by historians and archaeologists. By 4,000 B.C. large cities had grown up in the region. Considered one of the cradles of civilization, the region is referred to frequently in The Bible, and is mentioned as the birthplace of Abraham. The region produced the first written records, as well as the wheel.

The region was conquered by the Akkadians in the 24th century B.C. who ruled for about two centuries. The ancient city of Ur controlled the region for the next two centuries until about 2,000 B.C. Mesopotamia was not again united until about 1750 B.C., then the Kingdom of Babylon arose and reigned supreme in the area for about one and one-half centuries. The Babylonians in turn were conquered by Hittites from Turkey in about 1595 B.C. The longest control of the area was by the ancient Assyrians, who ruled the area from about 1350 B.C. through about 600 B.C. After a brief interlude of chaos, the Persians conquered the area and held it for three centuries until Persia and all of its territories were conquered by Alexander the Great in the last 4th century B.C. However the Greeks only held the region for about one century, before it again fell to the Persians. The Persians and Romans wrestled over the area for a number of centuries. Finally in the 7th century A.D. the area of Mesopotamia fell to the Islamic Empire.

The antiquities offered were originally part of a collection accumulated throughout most of the twentieth century. The Roman artifacts were found principally in Romania (literally "land of the Romans"), Bulgaria, and Syria. The Sumerian artifacts were unearthed in both Turkey and Syria, which along with Iraq and Iran constituted the majority of the sites of the ancient Sumerian civilizations. The Egyptian antiquities were part of a collection amassed in the mid-1960's, at the height of Soviet influence in Egypt. As well, additional specimens are occasionally acquired from other institutions and dealers in Eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean.

SHIPPING: These antiquities come from a number of collections which by and large originated here in Eastern Europe. As well, additional specimens are occasionally acquired from other institutions and dealers, principally in Eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. All of these artifacts are now in the United States and are available for immediate delivery via U.S. Mail. All purchases are backed by an unlimited guarantee of satisfaction and authenticity. If for any reason you are not entirely satisfied with your purchase, you may return it for a complete and immediate refund of your entire purchase price. A certificate of authenticity (COA) is available upon request.

Our order fulfillment center near Seattle, Washington will ship your purchase within one business day of receipt of your personal check or money order. If you wish to pay electronically, we accept both PayPal and BidPay. However we ask that you PLEASE WAIT before remitting until we have mutually agreed upon method of shipment and shipping charges and you understand our PayPal limitations and policies (stated here). We will ship within one business day of our receipt of your electronic remittance.

Our order fulfillment center near Seattle, Washington will ship your purchase within one business day of receipt of your personal check or money order. If you wish to pay electronically, we accept both PayPal and BidPay. However we ask that you PLEASE WAIT before remitting until we have mutually agreed upon method of shipment and shipping charges and you understand our PayPal limitations and policies (stated here). We will ship within one business day of our receipt of your electronic remittance. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE."