Roman jewellery in Japan

No it is not about an exhibition! This is one of the most interesting instances of cross history, actual cultural contacts between Japan and the Roman empire! Glass jewellery have been discovered at the Utsukushi burial mound in Nagaoka, Kyoto prefecture. The jewellery date from the first to the fourth centuries AD, that is the peak of the Roman empire. Extensive analysis took place of the components of 5 mm glass beads and the fragments of gilt attached to them. According to the results, the beads were made of natron, a chemical used by Roman craftsmen in order to melt glass. The same jewellery indicate that the craftsmen followed another interesting Roman technique: they made them with layers of glass, in between which they put a golden leaf.

For more information and photos take a look at this article in the Daily News of Japan

Economic historian and numismatic consultant

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