JEWELLERY FROM THE NECROPOLIS OF PRINIAS. PRELIMINARY REMARKS
This paper deals with the preliminary study of the precious ornaments found in the tombs of the Necropolis of Siderospilia at Priniàs during the excavations conducted by the University of Catania. They mostly consist of small gold and silver artefacts – pendants, finger rings, earrings, plaques originally applied to clothes – and of rock crystal, faience, hard stone beads, most of them originally belonging to necklaces.
This group of precious items constitutes one of the most significant assemblages of materials of this type, larger than those found in the necropolis of Knossos and only inferior, as regards the amount, to those of Eleutherna.
The presence of gold items inside the cemetery can provide a great deal of information on the general status and wealth of the inhabitants of the site just at the beginning of the first millennium B.C., and can be symptomatic of overseas contacts, in particular with Cyprus. Already in the depositions of the first phase of the necropolis, gold is often associated with bronze objects. It is not unlikely that the very early examples have arrived in Priniàs from outside, following the flux of Eastern influences and imports that in this period seem to involve different aspects of the Cretan material culture.