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First written reference to pearls

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  • First written reference to pearls

    I found an Assyrian reference. Anyone find anything older that 2450 BC?
    Richard W. Wise
    author: Secrets Of The Gem Trade, The Connoisseur's Guide To Precious Gemstones 2nd expanded and revised edition (2016)

  • #2
    The oldest I was aware was in the Epic of Gilgamesh but, at best, that would have been 2100 BC (to be sure, I would have to check if the oldest fragments include the 11th tablet and the pearl divers reference I was thinking of).

    Not a direct reference but perhaps a curious tangent. The Egyptian hieroglyph for gold (S12 in the Gardiner list) is sometimes described as a pearl necklace. However, I have not yet found a source that explains this (why pearl instead of simply bead necklace?).
    Contemporary Jewelry by Beatriz Fortes
    My blog


    • #3
      I didn't know pears of that much age are still out there.