Some of the loveliest items on display at the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb are the most personal— jewellery. There is a fine array of prehistoric pendants, earrings, and pins from the Bronze and Iron Ages, as well as pretty pieces from Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. This is only a tiny taste of what hangs in the museum's glass cases.
Time colours hand-twisted wire and hammered abstract designs with a patina in every shade of green. Lichen, moss, fir, kelp... I wonder about the artists who created these pieces, but I must admit I'm more curious about the people who wore them with pride. As a person who loves to accessorize and appreciates every silver ring she has, I am intimate with the feeling that arises when you pull that special pin out of the old jewellery box and hold it in your hands, eyeing its details and curves— if it was a gift, then you are transported to its giver, which is particularly wonderful.
So who did these belong to, and in what context were these pieces worn? Were they gifts? Mere status symbols? Were they loved?