Ephesus: An Ancient City of Biblical Proportions & How It Inspires My Jewelry Designs - Part 3/3
In Parts 1 & 2 of the blog on the ancient city of Ephesus I have discussed the early history of the city & moved on to the period of Roman rule. I have shown you photos of some of the ancient themed jewelry I have handmade that features the Hercules & Zeus coin as well as the Ephesus Honeybee coin.
In the final episode on the fascinating city of Ephesus I will show you my favorite Sterling silver bracelet with many cool coins and ancient charms native to the city and in general the Aegean. Also there will be many photos from marvelous terrace houses where the rich and the royal used to live.
So let us start with the story of the 'Golden Hour Bracelet'. Set sail and head East on the Mediterranean. You will end up at the Aegean Sea that surrounds the Cyclades Islands off the coast of Greece and Asia Minor. This region has been the home of ancient traders and navigators who facilitated the cultural exchange between emergent peoples of the Mediterranean. The Golden Hour bracelet celebrates the rich heritage of the Mediterranean by combining good luck charms and reproduction coins native to the Aegean. Handmade with exceptional artisanal skills this bracelet will grab everyone's attention.
As usual I will briefly discuss some of the design elements of this handmade historical bracelet. As discussed in Part 2, the Ephesus tetradrachm features a honeybee on the obverse face and a stag on the reverse face. Originally the bee was the symbol of an early Anatolian goddess Kybele for whom Artemis was considered to be the closest equivalent for the Greeks. It is believed that in time features of two Goddesses united forming the magnificent Lady of Ephesus, the fertile & generous mother Goddess with many breasts.
The second coin of this bracelet is a drachm, featuring the mighty Macedonian king Alexander the Great. Obverse side of the drachm depicts a masculine profile of Alexander the Great facing right as a Herakles (a.k.a. the Roman Hercules) look-alike with the legendary Nemean Lion skin crowning his head. Of course as usual, there are many who believe that the drachm shows Herakles himself as opposed to Alexander the Great. For me, the first interpretation seems more attractive as most kings of his time, Alexander believed that he was a descendant of Gods and great-grand child of Hyllus, the son of Herakles. On the reverse side, Zeus, Herakles' father is shown holding in his stretched hand an eagle and a bow & a scepter in the other. It is a bit hard to read but on this side is also written ALEXANDROU.
Ancient symbols of power and Greek culture are placed between the shimmering coins. I have handmade them out of Sterling silver using wax modeling technique. An acorn, a palm tree and an abstract woman's face from statues of Cyclades Islands of the Aegean Sea are included to further compliment the unique design. As usual everything including the clasp is handmade by me.
Now some more photos from Ephesus. Across Hadrian's temple were the Terrace Houses where the rich, royal & the wealthy lived. Located on a hillside called Bulbul (Nightingale) Mountain these houses have built on terraces on the outskirts of the city. These were massive and elegant two-storey mansions built around an open roofless courtyard. these buildings date from the first century BC to 7th century AD. From plumbing with hot and cold water to luxurious dining and living rooms these houses had everything that their rich owners desired.
Ephesus terrace houses are currently covered with a protective roofing which makes the tour more pleasant as it blocks the sun and other elements. The frescos and mosaics of these houses are simply to die for.
Hope you enjoyed this blog. See you next time.