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large hoop earrings in mesopotamia

The Ancient History of Hoop Earrings

Hoop and huggy earrings are a favourite in many jewellery collections (ours included). From a beautifully simple statement hoop or delicate stacked huggies, they really are a classic staple. Hoops aren’t only a contemporary accessory; in fact they’ve adorned ears since ancient times. 

Large Hoop Earrings in Mesopotamia

 Archaeologists have found evidence of gold hoop earrings in the frescos and tombs of ancient times, including the Sumerians of Mesopotomia 5,000 years ago – now the regions of Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey. The findings of the Sumerian culture indicates they were incredibly sophisticated with skilled jewellers who created pieces using precious metals and gemstones.

Hoop Earrings in Ancient Egypt

Hoop earrings were introduced to Egypt around 1,5000 BC and worn by Men, Women and even cats – considered the most sacred animal. In ancient Egypt, hoops were worn for status and style to symbolize power and wealth, with royals and Pharaohs like Nefertiti, Hatshepsut, Tutankhamen and Cleopatra adorning their ears to enhance their beauty.

Egyptian hoops were heavy and thick using twisted gold wire, beads and glass or jasper inlay. Gold was symbolic to the Egyptians who believed it represented the flesh of their Gods and deities, embodying the warmth and light of the Sun. Hoops also carried special meaning circles represented the rhythms and cycles of life and nature to the Egyptians.

hoop earrings in ancient egypt
goddess hathor

Jewels of Ancient Nubia

The Egyptians were closely linked to their northern neighbours, the Nubian civilization, with whom they had close trade links. Historians date hoops worn in Nubia, present day Sudan, back to the fourth century. Many of the hoops worn by the Nubian people used intricate detailing and pendants, often depicting Gods and Goddesses.

jewels of ancient Nubia

Hathor is an Ancient Egyptian goddess who personified the principles of joy, feminine love, and motherhood. She was one of the most important and popular deities throughout the history of Ancient Egypt. Hathor was worshiped by royalty and common people alike.

Hoops as a status symbol in Ancient Greece

hoops in ancient greece

Ancient Greek and Roman’s also embraced gold hoop earrings, with Julius Ceasar turning them into a status symbol during his reign. Prior to that the Etruscian civilization who lived around modern-day Tuscany brought refinement and artistry to hoops, while frescoes in Santorini from 1600 BC depict Women in hoops. The Minoan civilization on the Aegian islands and Crete also wore gold, silver and bronze hoops. 

The ancient Italian and Greek hoop earrings ranged from plain twisted metals to elaborately ornate designs using chains, beads and pendants. In Greece, disk earrings held pendants of amphorae (ancient Greek jars), figures of Eros and animal-head finials such as Lion and Ram’s. Much like the Egyptians, gold hoop earrings were thought to bring the wearer closer to the Gods, in fact the pendants were often hung to pay respect to certain gods during moments of significance. Expectant parents honoured Hera, the goddess of childbirth and fertility with Women wearing hoops adorned with cow’s heads; and Men honoured Zeus by wearing bull’s heads to enhance their masculinity.

hoop earrings in ancient Greece

Elaborate gold hoop earrings in Asia

Hoop Earrings in Ancient Asia

Tapered hoops of gold, silver and bronze spread through Asia by 1,000 BC. Throughout India, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia elaborate gold hoop earrings were worn as part of traditional cultural dress and during ceremonies at Temples. Indian and Vietnamese ethnic groups such as the Hmong and Gadaba people still wear the traditional hoops that have been worn for thousands of years.

Of course, hoop earrings have continued to be worn well past ancient times across many cultures through to present day. Reflecting on their deep history and the significance they have played is important to use here at Temple of the Sun so we can respect, honour and celebrate this piece of jewellery beyond its beauty.

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Temple of the Sun Alba Earrings Gold
Temple of the Sun Alba Earrings Gold
Temple of the Sun Alba Earrings Gold
Temple of the Sun Alba Earrings Gold
Temple of the Sun Alba Earrings Gold
Temple of the Sun Alba Earrings Gold

Alba Earrings Gold

$99.00
Temple of the Sun Alessandra Earrings Sapphire Gold
Temple of the Sun Alessandra Earrings Sapphire Gold
Temple of the Sun Alessandra Earrings Sapphire Gold
Temple of the Sun Alessandra Earrings Sapphire Gold
Temple of the Sun Alessandra Earrings Sapphire Gold
Temple of the Sun Alessandra Earrings Sapphire Gold

Alessandra Earrings Sapphire Gold

$119.00
Temple of the Sun Alessandra Earrings Sapphire Silver
Temple of the Sun Alessandra Earrings Sapphire Silver
Temple of the Sun Alessandra Earrings Sapphire Silver
Temple of the Sun Alessandra Earrings Sapphire Silver
Temple of the Sun Alessandra Earrings Sapphire Silver
Temple of the Sun Alessandra Earrings Sapphire Silver

Alessandra Earrings Sapphire Silver

$109.00
Temple of the Sun Anni Earrings Gold
Temple of the Sun Anni Earrings Gold
Temple of the Sun Anni Earrings Gold

Anni Earrings Gold

$179.00
Temple of the Sun Jewellery Annya Earrings Gold
Temple of the Sun Jewellery Annya Earrings Gold
Temple of the Sun Jewellery Annya Earrings Gold
Temple of the Sun Jewellery Annya Earrings Gold
Temple of the Sun Jewellery Annya Earrings Gold
Temple of the Sun Jewellery Annya Earrings Gold

Annya Earrings Gold

$169.00
Temple of the Sun Jewellery Annya Earrings Silver
Temple of the Sun Jewellery Annya Earrings Silver
Temple of the Sun Jewellery Annya Earrings Silver
Temple of the Sun Jewellery Annya Earrings Silver
Temple of the Sun Jewellery Annya Earrings Silver
Temple of the Sun Jewellery Annya Earrings Silver

Annya Earrings Silver

$149.00
Temple of the Sun Baye Earrings Gold
Temple of the Sun Baye Earrings Gold
Temple of the Sun Baye Earrings Gold
Temple of the Sun Baye Earrings Gold
Temple of the Sun Baye Earrings Gold
Temple of the Sun Baye Earrings Gold

Baye Earrings Gold

$149.00
Temple of the Sun Baye Earrings Silver
Temple of the Sun Baye Earrings Silver
Temple of the Sun Baye Earrings Silver
Temple of the Sun Baye Earrings Silver
Temple of the Sun Baye Earrings Silver
Temple of the Sun Baye Earrings Silver

Baye Earrings Silver

$139.00
Temple of the Sun Jewellery Carmella Twisted Hoop Earrings Gold Polished
Temple of the Sun Jewellery Carmella Twisted Hoop Earrings Gold Polished
Temple of the Sun Jewellery Carmella Twisted Hoop Earrings Gold Polished
Temple of the Sun Jewellery Carmella Twisted Hoop Earrings Gold Polished

Carmella Twisted Hoop Earrings Gold Polished

$139.00
Temple of the Sun Jewellery Carmella Twisted Hoop Silver
Temple of the Sun Jewellery Carmella Twisted Hoop Silver
Temple of the Sun Jewellery Carmella Twisted Hoop Silver

Carmella Twisted Hoop Silver

$129.00
Temple of the Sun Chrysalis Earrings Amethyst Gold
Temple of the Sun Chrysalis Earrings Amethyst Gold
Temple of the Sun Chrysalis Earrings Amethyst Gold
Temple of the Sun Chrysalis Earrings Amethyst Gold
Temple of the Sun Chrysalis Earrings Amethyst Gold
Temple of the Sun Chrysalis Earrings Amethyst Gold

Chrysalis Earrings Amethyst Gold

$109.00
Temple of the Sun Chrysalis Earrings Sapphire Gold
Temple of the Sun Chrysalis Earrings Sapphire Gold
Temple of the Sun Chrysalis Earrings Sapphire Gold
Temple of the Sun Chrysalis Earrings Sapphire Gold
Temple of the Sun Chrysalis Earrings Sapphire Gold
Temple of the Sun Chrysalis Earrings Sapphire Gold

Chrysalis Earrings Sapphire Gold

$129.00

Sources

http://sumerianshakespeare.com/117701/118101.html
https://www.museumsyndicate.com/item.php?item=26209
http://solarey.net/gold-gods-jewels-ancient-nubia/
https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/242862
https://www.thelovepost.global/file/gadaba-woman-lovepostjpg
https://www.christies.com/en/lot/lot-5628158

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