Scarlett Willow Designs

Jewellery is like a biography ~ a story that tells the many chapters of our life

When Did We Start Wearing Jewellery?

Scarlett Willow DesignsComment

As a child, I remember looking through my mother's jewellery box at items that had been passed down by my grandmother.  I have a beautiful Art Deco ring that I bought in an auction.  We see paintings dating back hundreds of years of royalty wearing ornate crowns, decorated with beautiful gemstones.  Jewellery has been found dating back to the Romans.  But when did we start wearing jewellery???

Some of the oldest examples of "adornment" found was in  a cave in eastern Morocco and were dated back to 82,000 years! Tiny shells had been coated in ochre, an ancient pigment made from clay.  The shells showed signs of wear around perforations through the shell which indicated that they were strung together as a necklace or bracelets.  These shells were from a tiny sea snail that is no longer found on the shores of Morocco...the nearest place they're found today is 800 miles away on an island off the coast of Tunisia.

But are these these the oldest??  Other items of adornment have been found in Skhul Cave on Mount Carmel in Israel.  Although they haven't been tested so conclusively, initial tests have dated them to be between 100,00 and 135,000 years old!!!!