• Pair of Earrings with Three Pendants in the Form of Birds

    Dimensions:
    3,5x1,8 cm; 3,7x1,8 cm

Pair of Earrings with Three Pendants in the Form of Birds

Created: Northern Black Sea Coast. late 6th century BC

Found: Neсropolis of Olbia. Right bank of the Dnieper-Bug estuary

The earrings consist of unclosed rings (gold in one earring, silver in the other) with three pendants in the shape of birds (apparently quails) threaded on to them. The birds are hollow and consist of two halves soldered together. The details of the figures are accentuated by light engraving. It may be that these birds had some hidden meaning – perhaps connected with love, which is always appropriate in jewellery. They may, in particular, have served as a reminder that Zeus and the goddess Leto, the future mother of Apollo and Artemis, were united in the form of quails. This is why, for example, Aristophanes called Leto “the quail mother” (Aristophanes, Birds, 870).

Title:

Pair of Earrings with Three Pendants in the Form of Birds

Archaeological site:

Neсropolis of Olbia

Material:

Dimensions:

3,5x1,8 cm; 3,7x1,8 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1926; handed over from the State Academy of the History of Material Culture

Inventory Number:

О.1912-259

Collection:

Subcollection:

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