Caesarea Jewelry Hoard

Caesarea jewelry hoard
Caesarea, Israel
Fatimid period, 11th century
Gold, silver, semi-precious stones, glass
Vase: H: 11 cm

Israel Antiquities Authority
Accession number: IAA 60-834; 60-859
Photo © IMJ, by Nahum Slapak

This hoard contains jewels of various types, the finest piece being a gold necklace consisting of six oval beads of sheet gold decorated with granulation; three other beads, designed in filigree, are set with small granules, and ten smaller beads serve as spacers. A second category, silver jewelry, is decorated in niello and includes earrings and pendants in the shape of amulet cases, while another group contains a necklace of glass beads and semiprecious stones. The jewelry pieces from this hoard differ not only in material but also in function. While the sole purpose of gold jewelry was to adorn and establish the social status of the woman who owned it, her silver jewelry served as a talisman, worn as protection against the evil eye and other misfortunes. The hoard dates from the period of the rule of the Egyptian Fatimid dynasty in the country, and may have been buried during the Crusader attack on Caesarea in 1101 CE.

The Israel Museum, Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2005

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Pidem Fund, London