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Old 18th March 2015, 02:39 PM   #4
estcrh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VANDOO
VERY INTERESTING AND ATTRACTIVE BELTS. I HAVE SEEN SOME OF THESE PICTURES BUT ALWAYS IGNORED THE BELTS WHILE LOOKING AT THE WEAPONS. IT SHOULD BE POSSIBLE FOR AN EXPERT IN STONE TO FIND THE REGION WHERE THE CARNELIAN WAS FOUND. THIS AGATE IS FOUND ALL OVER THE WORLD BUT THERE ARE REGIONAL VARIATIONS. THE OTHER CLUES WOULD BE AS TO WHERE THE STONES WERE WORKED AND THE METAL AND LEATHER WORK DONE. THE BELT WOULD BE HEAVY AND COULD EVEN OFFER SOME PROTECTION TO THE BELLY. CARNELIAN HAS BEEN POPULAR WORLD WIDE FOR A VERY LONG TIME. IT MAY BE BECAUSE OF THE COLOR AND BEAUTY OF THE STONE OR THERE MAY BE SOME SPECIAL POWERS OR BELIEFS ASSOCIATED WITH THE STONE.



So were did these carnelians originate? I did find this clue. Here is a paragraph from "Through Bosnia and the Herzegovina on foot during the insurrection, August and September 1875 : with an historical review of Bosnia, and a glimpse at the Croats, Slavonians, and the ancient republic of Ragusa" (1877) by Arthur John Evans. While looking for the origin of vast quanities of antique gem stones that were found in Epidaurus and throughout Illyria (the Balkans) he made this discovery.

Quote:
The clue towards solving the mystery is, I think, to be found in the abundance, in the interior of Bosnia and the Herzegovina, of just the same stones engraved as Turkish amulets and talismans, to which attention has been called already. In parts of the Herzegovina these stones are accounted so cheap that they are worn for merely ornamental purposes.

Some of the rayah women, who had taken refuge in Eagusa from Nevesinje and the neighbouring districts of the Herzegovina, wore broad belts studded like ephods with suchlike stones.

These were mostly, like the antique gems of Epidaurus, carnelian and agate, but I also noticed a few amethysts and one or two roots-of-emerald; they were rudely cut, and none, as far as I saw, engraved. On enquiring whence they came, the women told me that they picked them up in their own country, especially in a valley near Nevesmje. Here, it seems to me, is the true clue to the origin of the Roman intaglios. The raw material must have been gathered in these inland valleys, and thence carried to Narona, Epidaurus, and the other great coast cities, there to be engraved with the elegant designs of classical mythology.

That there was a regular manufacture of such bijouterie in the Eoman cities of Dalmatia seems to be proved not only by the great abundance of these gems on their sites, but also by the fact that a very large proportion of these had evidently never been set in rings and other articles of jewellery, which would certainly be their ultimate destination.

In those found near the head of the aqueduct in Ragusa Vecchia, we have doubtless the stock-in-trade of some lapidary, probably lost during one of the earthquakesfrom which the ancient city suffered; and Signor Glavinich told me that he was convinced that Salona had been the seat of a regular manufacture of Eoman gems. Doubtless, were there sufficient evidence forthcoming, it would be found that Eoman Dalmatia was the seat of an export trade in such articles with other provinces of the empire.
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