world from ancient times to the present. The earliest reported
example of doming metal is from Etruscan gold bracelets and
granulated spherical beads.
Metal has been domed for jewelry much earlier than the Etruscans
(whose culture dates generally to the first millennium BC). Oval
beads made of sheet metal occur at least as early as the mid-4th
millennium (ca. 3500) BC from Tepe Gawra and Tell Brak, both sites
of ancient cities in northern Iraq. Lovely examples of gold and
silver beads come from the Royal Cemetery at Ur (southern Iraq),
dating to about 2500 BC. Skilled examples of granulation come
from the site of Larsa (southern Iraq) in the Old Babylonian period
(ca. 1800 BC). If you want the primary references to any of these,
I’ll be happy to furnish them.
If you notice that a museum near you is showing or will be showing
an exhibit entitled, “Treasures from the Royal Tombs of Ur,” be
sure to see it, for some very ancient and spectacular metal- and
stone-working. If you are in New York City, try to see the current
exhibit, “Art of the First Cities,” at the Metropolitan Museum of
Art, for the same reason.