From prehistoric times, there have been records of the use of jewelry. The Neanderthals, who were roaming the earth before humans came, became extinct about 40,000 years back. There is evidence to suggest that they made jewelry from shells, stones, and other items. Evidence also suggests that they copied some jewelry making ideas from humans. This fact is evidenced by the discovery of pendants made by the Neanderthals from the teeth of cave bears. Studies show they copied this from humans of that era.
These were the earliest known jewelry and over centuries, humans started to use other materials for the jewelry.
In this article, we shall discuss briefly the different materials used by our ancestors to make jewelry.
The type of jewelry used in different parts of the world varies from one culture to another. The materials used in the making of the jewelry also varied from place to place. Accordingly, the materials in one place dictated the kind of jewelry that was worn by the people. For example, people living near the seashores used to make jewelry out of the seashells that were available in plenty. People living in and around the forests used the teeth of animals like the cave bears to make their jewelry. These people were hunters, and they used the bones and teeth of their victims to make jewelry.
These were the earliest known articles that were worn by the archaic humans, the Neanderthals during the period of pre-history. Perforated beads made of shells of small sea mollusks have been used by them and in some cases, the eggshells of ostriches have been used as jewelry. These date back about 40,000 years.
Early humans made crude bracelets and necklaces out of bone, teeth, berries,, and stone. These were hung on a string or the sinew of animals.
In some cases, they were fixed to the bone.
Carved bracelets made from the tusks of mammoths have also been found in some places.
The first sign of jewelry made from copper as discovered in Austria and this was from the grave of a female. One of the interesting aspects of this discovery was that, apart from being the body of a female, the understanding that she was a jewelry worker. This has forced people to rethink about the role of women in that era. Experts believed that only men were capable of making jewelry during those periods, but this discovery clearly indicated that women were also capable of working on metal and make jewelry.
From the crude methods followed during the pre-historic period we have come a long way in making intricately designed jewelry that could send the heart beat soaring. Nikola Valenti makes and markets some exquisite jewelry that could send hearts to soar.