• latw-2-3-1
    Gold earplugs, from an Early Bronze Age pithos burial at Eski Balıkhane (EB 69.3) (Nos. 2-3). (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)

Pair of Gold “earplugs”

Date
Early Bronze Age, ca. 2500-2000 BC, Early Bronze Age
Museum
Manisa, Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum, 168-169
Inventory No.
168-169
Sardis CATNUM
M69.007; M69.008
Material
Gold
Object Type
Jewelry and Ornaments
Site
Ahlatlı Tepecik
Sector
BT
Trench
EB 69.1
Locus
EB 69.1 Locus Burial EB 69.3
Description
Two bullet-shaped “earplugs,” made of sheets of argentiferous gold wrapped around a core of dark material. Conical terminal with hatched decoration; concave shaft with flat end. Tips pierced. Length 0.023 m; diameter of conical end 0.009 m.
Comments
From an Early Bronze Age grave at Ahlatlı Tepecik on the shore of the Gygaean Lake (Grave 69.3), with Nos. 1-6. “Similar objects have been found in contemporary contexts elsewhere in Western Anatolia, see Mellink 1966, 148” (Waldbaum 1983, 122). Analysis reveals a varying composition of 82.4-93.4% gold, 5.9-14.9% silver, which is consistent with unrefined natural gold from the Pactolus River.
Discussed
Greenewalt, “Introduction”; Roosevelt, “Lydia Before the Lydians”
Bibliography
Hanfmann et al. 1970, 16, fig. 5; Waldbaum 1983a, nos. 717, 718, with further bibliography; Dedeoğlu 2003, 12-13, fig.
Author
NDC