By all accounts, prehistoric times called for desperate measures. People of the era had to hunt and gather just to survive, and some still succumbed to starvation, harsh weather and illnesses and injuries even the most skilled healers couldn’t combat. Danger lurked around every turn, but despite the hazards and hardships, those people of times long past still managed to add extra little touches to their lives. Once such example would be jewelry with pieces having been found dating back thousands of years.
The Art of Prehistoric Jewelry Making
During the early days, precious metals and gemstones weren’t exactly mainstream materials; in fact, people didn’t even have the means to work with such items back then. Ingenuity, resourcefulness and a certain innate level of creativity went into the jewelry-making process. Nature was the people’s provider. Pieces were comprised of nuts, berries, stones, animal teeth and bones. Those living in coastal areas used seashells, fish bones and other waterborne materials as well. All these items were most likely held together by vines, grass and fibrous plants.
Meanings behind the Methods
Unlike today’s jewelry, prehistoric pieces weren’t fashion accessories. Each one held a very specific meaning. Some were used in sacred ceremonies whereas others were symbolic of leadership or specialized skills. Certain items may have been considered wedding gifts or indications of tribal membership and family lineage. Those made of teeth and bones could’ve symbolized warriors’ conquests and hunting prowess.
Serving a Higher Purpose
On another level, historians believe some early jewelry was a bit mystical in nature. Certain findings indicate pieces may have been subjected to rituals to instill enchanted powers into them. Jewelry in this category would’ve been used to keep warriors and hunters safe during their ventures. In all likelihood, some pieces served to ward off evil spirits and other unseen dangers or invite in less malicious forces.
Though no one can be absolutely certain of the true meanings behind prehistoric pieces of jewelry, it’s safe to say the people of the age didn’t have time for meaningless accessories. Every part of their lives served a purpose and held some type of symbolism. Rustic pieces can still be purchased today, but regardless of the materials used in their making, they’re not quite as magical and mysterious as those of times long past. If you’d like to see a vast selection of unique modern jewelry, visit this website.