The Aigina Treasure: Aegean Bronze Age Jewellery and a Mystery Revisited
Edited by J. Lesley Fitton
Publisher: British Museum Press
Description: Hardback, 127 p., 130 b/w and 80 colour ill., 30x21 cm.
The Aigina Treasure, a group of Greek Bronze Age gold jewellery and other objects believed to come from the island of Aigina, was memorably described by Reynold Higgins as ‘a rich, beautiful and very perplexing collection’. It has both fascinated and puzzled scholars and the wider world since it first came to notice in 1891, when it was offered to the British Museum for sale. The fascination arises from the recognition that such rich assemblages are rare: the Treasure potentially provides very significant evidence both for the history of early jewellery and for the history of the culture that made and used it. However, the lack of precise provenance and known associations makes it difficult to determine exactly where in our picture of the ancient world the Aigina Treasure fits.
Much new information has come to light since the publication in 1979 of Reynold Higgins’s landmark study of the Treasure, along with major discoveries at Aigina such as the excavation of a warrior shaft grave in 1981 and an exciting new find of Early Bronze Age treasure in 2000. This is reflected in the ten essays collected in this volume. Through examination of stylistic elements and comparison with objects from other collections, the contributors variously argue for the Treasure’s possible Minoan, Mycenaean, Near Eastern and Egyptian connections.
The essays are followed by a detailed catalogue of the Treasure. This presents a full technical study recently completed by the British Museum’s Department of Conservation and Scientific Research, accompanied by specially taken colour photographs.
Dyfri Williams, ‘Aigina: An introduction’ [9-10].
Dyfri Williams, ‘The story of the Aigina Treasure’ [11-16].
J. Lesley Fitton, Nigel Meeks & Louise Joyner, ‘The Aigina Treasure: Catalogue and technical report’ [7-31].
Florens Felten, ‘Aigina-Kolonna in the Early and Middle Bronze Age’ [32-35].
Stefan Hiller, ‘Ornaments from the warrior grave and the Aigina Treasure’ [36-39].
Robert Laffineur, ‘The Aigina Treasure: the Mycenaean connection’ [40-42].
Dominique Collon, ‘The Aigina Treasure: Near Eastern connections’ [43-45].
Joan Aruz, ‘The Aegean or the Near East: another look at the “Master of the Animals” pendant in the Aigina Treasure’ [46-50].
Robert Schiestl, ‘Three pendants: Tell el-Dab‘a, Aigina and a new silver pendant from the Petrie Museum’ [51-58].
Yvonne J. Markovitz & Peter Lacovara, ‘Egypt and the Aigina Treasure’ [59-60].
J. Lesley Fitton, ‘Links in a chain: Aigina, Dahshur and Tod’ [61-65].