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Jewellery in the Archaeological Record

Wearing decorative adornments has been part of human culture for thousands of years. Carved shells and bones represent some of the earliest jewellery from the upper Palaeolithic and Neolithic, with the addition of pottery, semi-precious stones and precious and semi-precious metals appearing in the archaeological record in the Bronze and Iron ages.

The motivations for wearing these adornments have been lost, but there are many suggestions, from simply being aesthetically pleasing, to being status symbols (particularly when individuals are wearing jewellery made from materials that are not locally sourced), to having a religious or symbolic purpose, but the same can be said for jewellery today too – everyone wears jewellery for a slightly different purpose; it might have sentimental value, represent our cultural heritage or faith, be chosen specifically for stylistic purposes, or chosen because it makes us smile.

Whatever your reason for wearing jewellery, whatever style you choose, it’s great to know that we’re continuing human traditions that have been part of life for thousands of years – though with more convenient ordering and delivery


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