AD300 Ancient Roman Moesia Bulgaria Ring Sz5½ + 19thC Antique 3¾ct Carnelian Gem

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Seller: ancientgifts (4,561) 100%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 123124613479 Very Elegant Size 5 1/2 Genuine Ancient Roman Bronze Ring 300 A.D. CLASSIFICATION: Ancient Roman Bronze Ring. Antique Handcrafted Nineteenth Century Orange Carnelian Semi-Precious Gemstone. ATTRIBUTION: Eastern Roman Empire (Provincial Moesia – present-day Bulgaria), Third or Fourth Century A.D. SIZE/MEASUREMENTS: Fits ring size 5 1/2 (U.S.). Diameter: 19mm * 18mm (outer dimensions excluding gemstone); 17mm (inner diameter). Bezel: 18mm (breadth) * 9 1/2mm (height), * 1 1/2mm (thickness) excluding gemstone. Gemstone: 9mm (breadth) * 8mm (height) * 3mm (thickness). 1.64 carats (approximate weight). Tapered Width Band: 8mm (at bezel) * 6mm (at sides) * 3mm (at back). Weight: 3.75 grams (without gemstone). CONDITION: Excellent! Completely intact, very light wear consistent with occasional usage in the ancient world, moderately light porosity (surface pitting caused by contact with earth while buried). Professionally conserved. DETAIL: A nicely styled Roman bronze ring of with a raised, six-sided platform bezel, of a bold size and character, which originally held a gemstone. In addition to the quite fancy six-sided bezel, you might notice that the perimeter of the bezel is accentuated with a punch-dot border as well. The punch-dot technique was already thousands of years old, used in Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Minoan Crete millennia earlier as a decorative element on items of personal adornment. The ring was not actually recovered with the gemstone intact, however usually this style of bronze ring was set either with a glass gemstone (glass was quite costly) or with some form of quartz crystal; i.e. clear quartz (“rock crystal”), orange quartz (“carnelian”), or purple quartz (“amethyst”); or oftentimes lapis lazuli. The ring is of heavy and durable one-piece construction, much like a contemporary ring. The more archaic rings produced by Roman artisans were characteristically made in two pieces; an incomplete ring (a “shank”) with a separately crafted bezel which was brazed to the shank in order to assemble the ring. The Romans had a number of different adhesives they used, some of the most common being resin and bitumen. However one characteristic that they all had in common is that sooner or later, they tended to fail. Consequentially ancient “gemstone” rings are typically unearthed without the gemstone. True to form, this particular ring was not recovered with the gemstone intact, so we reset the ring with a large, natural, antique, handcrafted dark orange quartz carnelian semi-precious gemstone. Rather than use bitumen pitch or tree resin, we mounted the gemstone using jeweler’s epoxy. The gemstone is quite secure, but if you at time in the future wished to remove it, this could easily be accomplished using some thinner or nail polish remover. Since before recorded history evidence suggests that carnelian was one of the most favored gemstones for at least the past 10,000 years. Orange carnelian, blue lapis lazuli, and green turquoise were the “big three” gemstones of antiquity. Carnelian is an orange-colored form of quartz which was enormously popular with the Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Sumerians, etc., and maintained its immense popularity through Renaissance and into Victorian Europe. Carnelian gemstones and jewelry were extremely popular throughout the ancient Mediterranean. During the Roman Empire carnelian was widely used to carve cameos and signet/intaglio rings. The Romans acquired their taste for this beautifully colored reddish-orange gemstone from the Phoenicians, who traded extensively in carnelian. Carnelian was also an important trade good in ancient India, and this particular gemstone was mined in India, source for much of the ancient world’s carnelian. The gemstone was imported into Russia and handcrafted by a Russian artisan into this beautiful gemstone in eighteenth century Yekaterinburg, Russia, home of one of Russia’s most famous gemstone and jewelry production centers, famous for producing the elaborate jewelry of Czarist Russia. Given the fact that the Romans made wide use of carnelian in their jewelry, it seemed an appropriate gemstone to enhance this ring’s beauty, a choice which preserves a sense of historical continuity. Fate has been kind, and the ring has been preserved in wonderful condition. Of course the ring does evidence some mild “all-over wear”, in fact, so little wear that you could almost call the condition of the ring “pristine”. Even the fine punch dots around the perimeter of the six-sized bezel are by and large still intact and discernible. Typically with this style of ring, even with lightly worn specimens, the punch dot design is worn smooth. However there is undeniably some wear. But the fact that the ring does evidence some wear should not be a source for disappointment. You must keep in mind that the ring was produced by an artisan and sold to a patron or consumer with the idea that the ring would be enjoyed and worn by the purchaser. And without any regard to twenty-first century posterity, that precisely what happened! The original Roman owner of this ring wore it, enjoyed it, and probably never could have in his most delusional moment ever dreamed that a thousand years into the future their ring would still exist. It should likewise come as no surprise that also detectable are the telltale signs that the ring spent thousands of years in the soil. Porosity is fine surface pitting (oxidation, corrosion) caused by extended burial in caustic soil. Many small ancient metal artifacts such as this are extensively disfigured and suffer substantial degradation as a consequence of the ordeal of being buried for millennia. It is not at all unusual to find metal artifacts decomposed to the point where they are not much more substantial than discolored patterns in the soil. Actually most smaller ancient artifacts such as this are so badly oxidized that oftentimes all that is left is a green (bronze) or red (iron) stain in the soil, or an artifact which crumbles in your hand. However this specimen is not so heavily afflicted, and certainly has not been disfigured. To the casual admirer, it simply looks like an ancient ring, nicely surfaced, no immediately discernible blemishes. You have to look very closely to detect the telltale signs indicating the ring was buried for millennia. No denying, there is oxidation, as if you examine the ring in a jeweler’s loupe, or if you examine these photo enlargements closely, you can clearly see the evidence of porosity (corrosion, fine surface pitting) in a few spots along both shoulders of the band. However the extent is very mild, and only in a few areas. This ring spent almost 2,000 years buried, yet by good fortune there is only a very modest degree of porosity evidenced. It happened to come to rest in reasonably benign soil conditions. Consequentially, the integrity of the artifact remains undiminished, and despite the moderately light porosity, the ring remains quite handsome, and entirely wearable. The ring is almost modern and quite distinctive in appearance, a classic and timeless design. The ring has a very nice medium brown color with golden undertones, very characteristic of ancient bronze and very attractive. The Romans were of course very fond of ornate personal jewelry including bracelets worn both on the forearm and upper arm, brooches, pendants, hair pins, earrings intricate fibulae and belt buckles, and of course, rings. This is an exceptional piece of Roman jewelry, a very handsome artifact, and eminently wearable. Aside from being significant to the history of ancient jewelry, it is also an evocative relic of one of the world’s greatest civilizations and than ancient world’s most significant military machine; the glory and light which was known as the “Roman Empire”. HISTORY OF ANCIENT ROMAN MOESIA:The Roman Province of Moesia was founded around 44 B.C. in an area which is now Serbia and Bulgaria. Ethnically the Moesians were Thracian and Illyrian tribes who had settled in the country of Moesi. Roman history records little about them until during the reign of Augustus. In 75 BC C. Scribonius Curio, proconsul of Macedonia, had taken an army as far as the Danube and gained a victory over the inhabitants. Under Augustus, Marcus Licinius Crassus was sent to bring the native populations under control. He succeeded in conquering the peoples in 30 B.C. Moesia became a Roman Province in 6 A.D. The relationship between the Roman Empire and the Moesians was a symbiotic one. Rome stimulated agriculture and commerce, raised the standard of living, and encouraged city life. Roman peace provided for the transmission of Greek culture and art. In exchange, the Moesians provided a supply of grain for the Romans. The native inhabitants also supplied men for the defense of the Roman Empire. In the reign of Domitian (85-86 A.D.) the province was split into Moesia Superior and Moesia Inferior. The River Ciabrus (Tsibritsa) served as the boundary between the two. The east coast of Moesia was on the Black (Euxine) Sea. The Danube River, along with its tributaries, the Drinus (Drina) and the Margus (Morava) Rivers, ran through the province. Moesia was a Roman military stronghold because it lay on the Black Sea and the Danube ran through the province. Moesia's location was on the edge of the Roman Empire, connecting the Roman Procines of Thrace and Pannonia, which was why there existed a significant roman military presence. The Roman Legions posted to Moesia Superior had the main role defending Macedonia and the trade routes between Thrace and Pannonia. The Roman legions posted to Moesia Inferior had a similar role in defending Thrace and the imperial interests at the intersection of the Black Sea and the Danube River. The main threat to the Roman Legions defending these provinces were the Goths and Germanic tribes, as well as the Scythians and Sarmatians. Moesia never was fully Romanized because there was constant movement of the native tribes. The objective of the Roman Empire was fully to exploit the natural resources that Moesia had to offer. Those natural resources included gold and other minerals. Along with the precious natural resources, Moesia was rich in farmlands. Ti. Plautius Silvanus Aelianus was the first governor (57-67 A.D.) to add to the grain supply of Rome a great quantity of Moesian wheat. In addition to the farmlands, there was a vast amount of pasture land and orchards. The chief towns of Upper Moesia were Singidunum (Belgrade), Viminacium (Kostolac), Remesiana (Bela Palanka), Bononia (Vidin) and Ratiaria (Archar). Of Lower Moesia: Ulpia (Gigen), Novae (Svishtov), Nicopolis ad Istrum (near the river Jantra), Odessus (Varna) and Tomi (Constanta). The poet Ovid was banished to Tomis in 9 A.D., and lived there until his death in 17 A.D.. Ovid was not fond of Tomis, or Moesia for that matter. He described the inhabitants as barbarians. Most of the disdain in letters was probably exaggerated but he was unhappy about being exiled so far from Rome. He complained that the farmers could not plow their fields without bringing their weapons into the fields with them such was the seriousness of the threat from the Goths and the Germanic tribes. The ancient city of Tomis is still exists beneath the modern city of Constanza. Archaeological excavations had recovered include statuary (including the god of the Black Sea “Pontus”, and “Glycon” the sheep-headed snake-god), coins, the "Mosaic Building” (a three-story commercial complex which included warehouses filled with intact amphorae, and a large bath house. In 378 A.D. an army of Visigoths, Ostrogoths, and some non-Germanic Alans defeated the Roman Emperor Valens in a great battle near Adrianople around 378 A.D. setting the stage for the final collapse of the Western Roman Empire. Eventually Moesia passed out of Roman control around 395 A.D. when Emperor Theodosius died. Rome was no longer able to defend the frontier borders, and frequent attacks by the Goths led to the complete disintegration of the province. In the 7th century Slavs and Bulgars entered the country and founded the kingdoms of Serbia and Bulgaria. ROMAN HISTORY: One of the greatest civilizations of recorded history was the ancient Roman Empire. In exchange for a very modest amount of contemporary currency, you can possess a small part of that great civilization in the form of a 2,000 year old ancient Roman artifact. The Roman civilization, in relative terms the greatest military power in the history of the world, was founded in the 8th century (B.C.). In the 4th Century (B.C.) the Romans were the dominant power on the Italian Peninsula, having defeated the Etruscans and Celts. In the 3rd Century (B.C.) the Romans conquered Sicily, and in the following century defeated Carthage, and controlled the Greece. Throughout the remainder of the 2nd Century (B.C.) the Roman Empire continued its gradual conquest of the Hellenistic (Greek Colonial) World by conquering Syria and Macedonia; and finally came to control Egypt in the 1st Century (B.C.) The pinnacle of Roman power was achieved in the 1st Century (A.D.) as Rome conquered much of Britain and Western Europe. At its peak, the Roman Empire stretched from Britain in the West, throughout most of Western, Central, and Eastern Europe, and into Asia Minor. For a brief time, the era of “Pax Romana”, a time of peace and consolidation reigned. Civilian emperors were the rule, and the culture flourished with a great deal of liberty enjoyed by the average Roman Citizen. However within 200 years the Roman Empire was in a state of steady decay, attacked by Germans, Goths, and Persians. The decline was temporarily halted by third century Emperor Diocletian. In the 4th Century (A.D.) the Roman Empire was split between East and West. The Great Emperor Constantine again managed to temporarily arrest the decay of the Empire, but within a hundred years after his death the Persians captured Mesopotamia, Vandals infiltrated Gaul and Spain, and the Goths even sacked Rome itself. Most historians date the end of the Western Roman Empire to 476 (A.D.) when Emperor Romulus Augustus was deposed. However the Eastern Roman Empire (The Byzantine Empire) survived until the fall of Constantinople in 1453 A.D. In the ancient world valuables such as coins and jewelry were commonly buried for safekeeping, and inevitably the owners would succumb to one of the many perils of the ancient world. Oftentimes the survivors of these individuals did not know where the valuables had been buried, and today, thousands of years later caches of coins and rings are still commonly uncovered throughout Europe and Asia Minor. Throughout history these treasures have been inadvertently discovered by farmers in their fields, uncovered by erosion, and the target of unsystematic searches by treasure seekers. With the introduction of metal detectors and other modern technologies to Eastern Europe in the past three or four decades, an amazing number of new finds are seeing the light of day thousands of years after they were originally hidden by their past owners. And with the liberalization of post-Soviet Eastern Europe, new markets have opened eager to share in these ancient treasures. CARNELIAN HISTORY: Aside from pearls, which were "discovered" as gemstones by prehistoric man, carnelian, turquoise, and lapis lazuli are the oldest gemstones utilized in the manufacture of jewelry. Carnelian is a translucent form of (chalcedony) quartz, and ranges in color from yellow to a deep red, the color due to the presence of iron oxide. Some of the most ancient examples of jewelry included carnelian. Queen Pu-abi's tomb at Ur in Sumeria dated from the 3rd millennium B.C. In the crypt the upper part of the queen's body was covered with a robe made of gold, silver, lapis lazuli, carnelian, agate, and chalcedony beads. In ancient Egyptian jewelry the use of gold was predominant, and it was generally complemented by the use of three colors of carnelian, as well as turquoise, and lapis lazuli. For example the orange accents in the famous mask of Tutankhamun were provided by carnelian gemstones. The blood red varieties of carnelian gained great popularity in the ancient world, and were widely used to produce engraved gemstones. Intaglio-incised carving was probably first used to produce seals. The art form is believed to have originated in southern Mesopotamia, and was highly developed by the 4th millennium B.C. The source for most carnelian in the early Mediterranean were simply gemstones found on the surface of the Egyptian and Arabian deserts. However by the first millennium B.C., carnelian was coming to the Mediterranean from India. The gemstones would reached the Mediterranean either via the Silk Route (if overland) or if by sea, they would have crossed the Arabian and Red Sea by ship, then overland to Alexandria in Egypt, before being distributed by trade across and around the Mediterranean. The ancient Indians were very fond of carnelian. Long beads in excess of 12cm in length (6 inches) were very popular with the Indus Valley populations (present-day Punjab), specimens having been excavated by archaeologists which date back to before 2,000 B.C. By 1700 B.C. the Minoans (of ancient Crete) had established trade routes from Knossos to Turkey, Cyprus, Egypt, Afghanistan, and Scandinavia. Carnelian was one of their major trade goods, along with amethyst, lapis lazuli, and gold. Even as far away as Japan carnelian has been found in Iron Age burials. In earthquake-prone lands such as Babylon and Greece, carnelian served as a talisman of good luck. An ancient saying went: "no man who wore a carnelian was ever found in a collapsed house or beneath a fallen wall." Carnelian was mentioned a number of times in the ancient Egyptian “Book of the Dead”. A "tet" amulet made of carnelian was placed on a mummy's neck to protect the soul of the departed in the afterlife. The amulet was consecrated by steeping it overnight in flower-water, after which it was empowered by reciting the appropriate spell from the Book of the Dead over it. The ancient Egyptians often referred to carnelian as “the blood of Isis”. According to legend, the goddess Isis shed tears of blood upon the death of her husband, Osiris. The tears turned into carnelian, which she then shaped into a tet amulet. Isis placed the tet around the neck of Osiris to protect her husband as he journeyed to the underworld. In Egyptian mythology Isis was the equivalent of the universal mother-goddess found in virtually all civilizations, and was worshipped as the mother of Ra. Isis was the sister of Osiris (who was also her husband), Nepthys and Seth, the daughter of Nut and Geb and the mother of Horus, the winged Falcon God. Other early Mediterranean cultures as well believed that carnelian would protect the deceased in the journey between this world and the next. Carnelian was also believed an aid to astral travel in ancient Egypt, and Siberian shamans believed likewise. Ancient shamans believed that carnelian boosted all psychic and magical powers, especially intuitive gifts like psychometry, dowsing, clairvoyance, and astral travel. Carnelian was also widely used throughout the ancient Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Minoan and Phoenician worlds, as well as in ancient Greece, Rome, and Persia for the carving of intaglio gemstones for signet rings and other seals used by dignitaries and merchants to authenticate documents with their own unique personal “signature”. Many of the intaglio carnelian rings and signets produced by ancient Roman and Greek craftsmen and still in existence today, have retained their high polish better than many harder stones. A particularly noteworthy collection is housed at The Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia. Carnelian was probably the favorite gemstone for Roman artisans as they produced the intaglio gemstones so popular in signet rings. Aside from being quite beautiful, carnelian seals and signets had the practical advantage of not sticking to wax. The ancient Mediterranean cultures, particularly the Romans, recommended carnelian gemstones for those of weak voice or timid on speech. It was also thought to give courage to those who wore the gemstone, and also to provide a positive influence on the reproductive system. As with amber, ancient Romans believed that the darker carnelian represented males and the lighter carnelian, females. In the world of the ancient Mediterranean, carnelian was also believed to be strong protection from the evil eye, referring to the almost universal belief in the ancient world that some evil sorcerers or witches had the ability to transmit evil with just a glance. The ancient Muslims also believed carnelian to protect against the evil eye, as well as bringing happiness to the owner. Carnelian was called “the Mecca stone”. Legend has it that Mohammad's seal was an engraved carnelian set in a silver ring, quite possible since carnelian was often used for signet seals. In ancient Islam carnelian stones were also engraved it with the name of Allah to promote courage in the wearer. In ancient Tibet, it was believed that the seven treasures of material wealth were gold, silver, lapis lazuli, seashell, agate, pearl, and carnelian. Carnelian was used during the Middle Ages to enhance fertility, requiring that it be worn both by the male and female for those couples seeking a child. It was also believed to protect from miscarriage during pregnancy. The Medieval Christian Mystic Saint Hildegard recorded that carnelian was used to relieve headaches and as a child-birthing aid. In the Renaissance era cameos were frequently carved of carnelian in the belief that it would ward off depression and insanity. It was also believed that carnelian set in jewelry would help overcome shyness or social inhibitions. Napoleon is said to have carried a carnelian amulet he found in Egypt, as a talisman, echoing the ancient belief that carnelian would bring victory to the wearer in all contests except love. Like earlier civilizations, medieval Europe believed carnelian to be a powerful healer, using it as a remedy for bleeding wounds. A leading medical treatise of the 17th century said of carnelian, “the powder is good to drink against all infections. Carried about, it makes cheerful minds, expels fear, makes courage, destroys and prevents fascinations and defends the body against all poisons. It stops blood by a peculiar property; and bound to the belly keeps up the birth.” “Carnelian" gets its name from the Latin "cornum" (cornel berry or carnelian cherry). The color of carnelian, which can range from yellow to orange to red and even to brown, is due to the presence of ferric oxide (iron). If the ferric oxides become hydrated, i.e., the stone absorbs moisture, the stone will be more yellow or brown. Conversely, if excess moisture is removed, it will become more red (which explains why it was often heated in the ancient world, even if by laying it out in the sun, so as to enhance the red hues). Carnelian is also fluorescent, showing under ultra violet light either a light blue or yellow-green coloration. Throughout the history of the ancient world, gemstones were believed capable of curing illness, possessed of valuable metaphysical properties, and to provide protection. Found in Egypt dated 1500 B.C., the "Papyrus Ebers" offered one of most complete therapeutic manuscripts containing prescriptions using gemstones and minerals. Gemstones were not only valued for their medicinal and protective properties, but also for educational and spiritual enhancement. In the ancient world carnelian had many medicinal applications, believed useful in the treatment of open wounds, sores, spasms, fever, infections, nose bleeds, arthritis, and even infertility. It was also believed that a carnelian worn about a woman’s neck would relieve cramps. Carnelian was also believed to relieve back pain, arthritis, fight infections, as well as to improve circulation to help purify the blood. On the metaphysical plane, it was widely believed in Medieval Europe that a carnelian amulet would protect the home from fire and misfortune. It was also believed helpful in finding the right mate, and to help wearers achieve the perfect balance between creativity and mental processing (left and right hemisphere functions), and thus a useful aid for daydreamers and the absent-minded. Carnelian was also worn to enhance passion, desire, and sexuality. HISTORY OF BRONZE: Bronze is the name given to a wide range of alloys of copper, typically mixed in ancient times with zinc, tin, lead, or arsenic. The discovery of bronze enabled people to create metal objects which were better than previously possible. Tools, weapons, armor, and building materials made of bronze were harder and more durable than their stone and copper predecessors from the “Chalcolithic” (the “Copper Age”), i.e., about 7000-3500 B.C., and the Neolithic (“New Stone Age”), i.e. about 12000 to 7000 B.C.). Of particular practical significance were bronze agricultural implements, tools for cutting stone, and weapons. On the other hand, of particular cultural significance was bronze statuary, particularly that of the Romans and Greeks. The ancient Greeks and Romans had a long history of making statuary in bronze. Literally thousands of images of gods and heroes, victorious athletes, statesmen, and philosophers filled temples and sanctuaries, and stood in the public areas of major cities. In fact, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia and the Colossus of Rhodes are two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Initially bronze was made out of copper and arsenic. It was only later that tin was used, becoming (except in ancient Egypt) the sole type of bronze in the late 3rd millennium B.C. Tin-alloyed bronze was superior to arsenic-alloyed bronze in that the alloying process itself could more easily be controlled, the alloy was stronger and easier to cast, and unlike arsenic, tin is not toxic. Toxicity was a major factor in the production of arsenic bronze. Repeated exposure to arsenic fumes ultimately led to nerve damage in the limbs. Evidence of the long agony of Bronze Age metalsmiths came down to the ancient Greeks and Romans in the form of legend, as the Greek and Roman gods of metalsmiths, Greek Hephaestus and Roman Vulcan, were both lame. In practice historical bronze alloys are highly variable in composition, as most metalworkers probably used whatever scrap was to hand. In one instance of ancient bronze from Britain, analysis showed the bronze to contain a mixture of copper, zinc, tin, lead, nickel, iron, antimony, arsenic, and silver. Other advantages of bronze over iron include that bronze better resists corrosion, particularly seawater corrosion; bronze resists metal fatigue better than iron; and bronze is a better heat conductor (and thus is better suited for cooking vessels). However ancient bronze, unless conserved properly, is susceptible to “bronze disease”, wherein hydrochloric or hydrosulfuric acid is formed due to impurities (cuprous chloride or sulfur) found within the ancient bronze. Traditionally archaeology has maintained that the earliest bronze was produced by the Maikop, a proto-Indo-European, proto-Celtic culture of Caucasus prehistory around 3500 B.C. Recent evidence however suggests that the smelting of bronze might be as much as several thousand years older (bronze artifacts dating from about 4500 B.C. have been unearthed in Thailand). Shortly after the emergence of bronze technology in the Caucasus region, bronze technology emerged in ancient Mesopotamia (Sumer), Egypt, the Indus Valley Civilization of Northern India, the Aegean, the Caspian Steppes (Ukraine), the Southern Russia/Central Mongolia Region (the Altai Mountains), the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean), Anatolia (Turkey) and the Iranian Plateau. By the late third millennium B.C. many Western European Bronze Age Cultures had emerged. Some of the more notable were the Celtic cultures of Middle Europe stretching from Hungary to Poland and Germany, including the Urnfield, Lusatian, and (Iron Age Transitional) Hallstatt Cultures. The Shang in ancient China also developed a significant Bronze Age culture, noted for large bronze burial urns. The ancient Chinese were the first to cast bronze (using the “lost wax” technique) about 2200 B.C. Prior to that time all bronze items were forged. Though weapons and utilitarian items were produced in great numbers, the production of bronze in ancient China was especially noteworthy for ornamented ritualistic/religious vessels (urns, wine vessels, water pots, food containers, and musical instruments), many of immense size. Britain’s Bronze Age cultures included the Beaker, Wessex, Deverl, and Rimbury. Copper and tin ores are rarely found together, so the production of bronze has always involved trade. Cornwall was one of the most significant sources of tin not only for Britain, but exported throughout the Mediterranean. Other significant suppliers of tine were the Taurus Mountains of Anatolia (Turkey), as well as Spain. Enormous amounts of copper was produced from the Great Orme mine in North Wales, the island of Cyprus, the European Alps, and from the Sinai Peninsula and other nearby sites in the Levant. Though much of the raw minerals may have come from Britain, Spain, Anatolia, and the Sinai, it was the Aegean world which controlled the trade in bronze. The great seafaring Minoan Empire (about 2700 to 1450 B.C.) appears to have controlled, coordinated, and defended the trade. Tin and charcoal were imported into Cyprus, where locally mined copper was mined and alloyed with the tin from Britain. Indicative of the seafaring trade in the Eastern Mediterranean, a shipwreck from about 1300 B.C. off the Turkish coast revealed a ship carrying a ton of copper ingots, several dozen small tin ingots, new bronze tools, scrap metal, and a blacksmith's forge and tools (along with luxury trade goods from Africa). It appears that the Bronze Age collapsed with the fall of Minoan Empire, to be replaced by a Dark Age and the eventual rise of the Iron Age Myceneans (on mainland Greece). Evidence suggests that the precipitating event might have been the eruption of Thera (Santorini) and the ensuing tsunami, which was only about 40 miles north of Crete, the capital of the Minoan empire. Some archaeologists argue that it was Santorini itself which was the capitol city of the Minoan World. However where Crete or Santorini, it is known that the bread-basket of the Minoan trading empire, the area north of the Black Sea lost population, and thereafter many Minoan colony/client-states lost large populations to extreme famines or pestilence. Inasmuch as the Minoans were the principals of the tin/copper shipping network throughout the Mediterranean, the Bronze Age trade network is believed to have failed. The end of the Bronze Age and the rise of the Iron Age is normally associated with the disturbances created by large population disruptions in the 12th century B.C. The end of the Bronze Age saw the emergence of new technologies and civilizations which included the large-scale production of iron (and limited scale production of steel). Although iron was in many respects much inferior to bronze (and steel was inefficiently produced in very limited quantities), iron had the advantage that it could be produced using local resources during the dark ages that followed the Minoan collapse, and was very inexpensive when compared to the cost of producing bronze. Bronze was still a superior metal, resisting both corrosion and metal fatigue better than iron. And bronze was still used during the Iron Age, but for many purposes the weaker iron was sufficiently strong to serve in its place. As an example, Roman officers were equipped with bronze swords while foot soldiers had to make do with iron blades. Pliny the Elder, the famous first century Roman historian and naturalist, wrote about the reuse of scrap bronze and copper in Roman foundries, noting that the metals were recast as armor, weapons or articles for personal use, such as bronze mirrors. The melting and recasting foundries were located at the Italian port city of Brindisi. Located on the Adriatic coast, Brindisi was the terminus of the great Appian Way, the Roman road constructed to facilitate trade and military access throughout the Italian part of the Roman Empire. The city was the gateway for Roman penetration into the eastern parts of her empire (Greece, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Black Sea Region, the Danubian Provinces, and eventually Mesopotamia). Domestic shipping (insured first class mail) is included in the price shown. Domestic shipping also includes USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site). Canadian shipments are an extra $18.99 for Insured Air Mail; International shipments are an extra $22.99 for Air Mail (and generally are NOT tracked; trackable shipments are EXTRA). ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per item so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. If you intend to pay via PayPal, please be aware that PayPal Protection Policies REQUIRE insured, trackable shipments, which is INCLUDED in our price. International tracking is at additional cost. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs). Most of the items I offer come from the collection of a family friend who was active in the field of Archaeology for over forty years. However many of the items also come from purchases I make in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) from various institutions and dealers. Though I have always had an interest in archaeology, my own academic background was in sociology and cultural anthropology. After my retirement however, I found myself drawn to archaeology as well. Aside from my own personal collection, I have made extensive and frequent additions of my own via purchases on Ebay (of course), as well as many purchases from both dealers and institutions throughout the world – but especially in the Near East and in Eastern Europe. I spend over half of my year out of the United States, and have spent much of my life either in India or Eastern Europe. In fact much of what we generate on Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. I acquire some small but interesting collections overseas from time-to-time, and have as well some duplicate items within my own collection which I occasionally decide to part with. Though I have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, my primary interest is in ancient jewelry. My wife also is an active participant in the “business” of antique and ancient jewelry, and is from Russia. I would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Whenever I am overseas I have made arrangements for purchases to be shipped out via domestic mail. If I am in the field, you may have to wait for a week or two for a COA to arrive via international air mail. But you can be sure your purchase will arrive properly packaged and promptly – even if I am absent. And when I am in a remote field location with merely a notebook computer, at times I am not able to access my email for a day or two, so be patient, I will always respond to every email. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE." Material: Ancient Roman Ring, Main Stone: Carnelian, Brand: Ancient Roman, Metal Purity: Bronze

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