• latw-137-1
    Ivory disk earring. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)

Ivory disk earring

Date
Ca. mid-sixth century BC, Lydian
Museum
Manisa, Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum, 6423
Inventory No.
6423
Sardis CATNUM
BI85.005
Material
Ivory
Object Type
Jewelry and Ornaments
Site
Sardis
Sector
MMS
Trench
MMS-I 85.1
Locus
MMS-I 84.1 Locus 34
Description
Flat disc, pierced at center. Front side carefully decorated with an incised 18-petalled rosette, surrounded by panels with dots in centers, separated by double lines. Reverse plain, smoothly finished. Broken and mended, almost complete. Diameter 0.031 m, thickness 0.001-0.0022 m.
Comments
From a Lydian house destroyed in the mid-sixth century BC (Area 1, with Nos. 16, 62, 64, 65, 66, 68, 72, 73, 75, 81, 87, 88, 96, 97, 100, 102, 103, 138); found in a collection of unguent vessels, jewelry (including the faience hawk No. 138), and other personal items, perhaps originally stored in a box (Cahill, “City of Sardis”). No trace of attachment is preserved; it may have been in wire, now missing, or in a perishable substance. The identification as an earring is suggested, however, by the depiction of similar earrings, for instance on the ivory head of a woman (No. 52), on the figure on a terracotta revetment (No. 56), and on a painting from the Aktepe Tumulus (Özgen, “Lydian Treasure,”depicted in blue, perhaps reflecting the Lydian custom of painting or dyeing ivory, see Dusinberre, “Lydian Ivories”), and by somewhat similar disk-shaped earrings, such as No. 117.
Discussed
Cahill, “City of Sardis”
Bibliography
Greenewalt et al. 1988, 69, fig. 10.
Author
NDC