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Gold rings from the Aigina treasure

-1850/-1550

British Museum

British Museum

The Aigina treasure includes five gold rings. Four of them, inlaid with lapis lazuli, are among the most technically skilful elements in the Aigina treasure. Lapis lazuli is a rare and precious stone and came to Crete via a long trade route from Afghanistan. One ring, shaped like a figure-of-eight shield, is particularly interesting; such large body shields are commonly represented in Minoan and Mycenaean art. They are sometimes shown in use by hunters or warriors or, as here, simply used as a decorative motif. Occasionally the shield is associated with a figure identified as a warrior goddess, and this may have given the image particular potency. A second ring takes the form of a reef knot; a third has fluted lapis lazuli. On the fourth ring, small pieces of lapis are inlaid into a meander pattern. The fifth ring, in plain gold, is decorated with incised hatching and is rather flimsy.

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Details

  • Title: Gold rings from the Aigina treasure
  • Date Created: -1850/-1550
  • Physical Dimensions: Diameter: 1.90cm; Diameter: 1.60cm (inner); Weight: 68.00grains
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: inlaid
  • Registration number: 1892,0520.3
  • Production place: Made in Crete. Made in Aegina
  • Place: Excavated/Findspot Aegina
  • Period/culture: Minoan
  • Material: gold; lapis lazuli
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Purchased from Creswell

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