Byzantine Gold Body Chain

Illustration

Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin
by
published on 07 October 2016

This body chains of linked medallions is the largest item of jewellery to survive from the Byzantine Empire. It would have been worn draped over the shoulders and around the hips. In Greek and Roman art, body chains were often associated with Venus, the goddess of love. Due to its size, this chain may have adorned a statue (possibly of Venus) instead of an actual woman. By the 500s CE, statues from the neighbouring Persian Empire showed kings wearing similar body chains. The significance of this type of accessory may have changed from symbolising female sexuality to denoting male power and authority. Donated by Mrs. Burns. Circa 600s. From Asyut, Egypt. (The British Museum, London).



About the Author

Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin
Associate Professor of Neurology and lover of the Cradle of Civilization, Mesopotamia. I'm very interested in Mesopotamian history and always try to take photos of archaeological sites and artifacts in museums, both in Iraq and around the world.

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