Our ancient mammoth ivory earrings are inspired by an age-old material and a Minoan Crete priestess script that dates back to 1450 B.C.—a bold pair with an enigmatic story to tell.
The hieroglyphic influenced text depicted on our Priestess earrings dates back to 1450-1375 B.C. in Minoan Crete where an early civilization lived on the largest of the Greek islands. The Minoans were influenced by nearby Egypt—particularly their fresco and goldsmith arts—and as a culture enjoyed a particular reverence for their women and a woman's place in society.
The Minoan culture was all but unknown until the early 1900's, though it served as an important bedrock for Greek cultures that followed. The vertical script on this priestess jewelry is known as Iereia, which means priestess. The Minoans worshipped a female nature goddess, and their art reflects this in its feminine depictions. We now know that priestesses were particularly important figureheads in Minoan culture.
This pair of mammoth ivory earrings was designed around the Minoan script in Zealandia's signature moveable hinge setting that highlights the script as a tablet. The script is not the only ancient inspiration in this pair, however. The top accents in mammoth tusk ivory take us even further back in time to when the great mammoths still roamed the earth.
Our fossilized mammoth ivory is over 15,000 years old. It has lain in permafrost or underground for many centuries. There it either retains its original creamy luster or accretes a warm range of earthy tones from surrounding minerals. Mammoth ivory is a prized addition to carved ivory earrings and fossilized ivory jewelry such as this pair. It brings a touch of antiquity to jewelry and artisan crafts.