The Jewelry Insider

April 24, 2008

An anthropologist in Peru has found a gold necklace that¬†dates back 4,000 years. Is it the world’s oldest golden jewel?

If you think your great-grandmother’s gold necklace is an ‘antique’ piece of
jewelry -think again. A necklace created a century ago is just a mere infant
according to the latest jewelry timeline. A ring dating back to medieval times –
a pre-teen at best. A bracelet from biblical times, a college sophomore compared
to a recent find by an anthropologist in Peru.

Mark Aldenderfer from the University of Arizona has uncovered a gold necklace
made nearly 4,000 years ago near a burial site by Lake Titicaca in Peru. He says
it appears that a nugget of raw gold, which occurs near the area, was pounded
flat in a stone mortar and pestle. The gold was then wrapped around a piece of
wood and pounded until it was folded into a tube.

Researchers at the site restrung the necklace, alternating nine small gold
tubes with a series of round stones, identified as either greenstone or
turquoise, with holes in them that were found in the same grave.

Before this discovery, the oldest gold ornaments unearthed in this hemisphere
were also Peruvian in origin, though some 600 years younger.

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