Iraq Information on Pearls

Enjoy fascinating Iraq information on pearls. Ancient Babylon was in present day Iraq.

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, from a Series of the "Seven Wonders of the World"
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, from a Series of the "Seven Wonders of the World"

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In the ruins of Babylon no pearls have been found; indeed, it would be surprising if they could survive for so many ages in the relatively moist soil which contains much saltpeter. Inlays of mother-of-pearl and decorations of this material have been secured from the ruins of Bismaya, which Dr. Edgar J. Banks refers to about 4500 B.C.

There is likewise little evidence that pearls were extensively employed by the ancient Assyrians, notwithstanding that excavations at Nineveh and Nimrud have furnished much information regarding their ornaments; and the collars, bracelets, sword-hilts, etc, wrought in gold and ornamented with gems, show that the jeweler's art had made much progress. This is not wholly trustworthy as determining the relative abundance; for being of organic or non-mineral origin, pearls would have not have survived the burial for thousands of years so well as the crystal gems. An inscription on the Nineveh Obelisk, which states, according to Sir Henry Rawlinson, that in the ninth year of his reign Temenbar received, as "tribute of the kind of the Chaldees, gold, silver, gems, and pearls," shows that the sea-born gems were highly valued there.

Info from Kunz & Stevenson's 1908 book on pearls.

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