As in many ancient societies, jewellery was an important social marker used to demonstrate wealth and richness. In Ancient Roman culture, jewellery was worn in everyday life but was also buried with the deceased as part of his or her funerary outfit. Jewellery might have been enriched by precious and semi-precious stones and decorative motives would have included popular myths, gods, goddesses, and heroes.
The Herakles Knot was a symbol used since the Ancient Egyptian times, however, it gained momentum in the Hellenistic period and was a frequent decorative addition to earrings, bangles and necklaces. The knots displayed here appear in their simplest form however it was common to also see knots embellished with garnets or surrounding mythological figures. It was a symbol synonymous with fertility and strength and had a deep apotropaic significance. During the Roman period, Hercules, knot was associated with the marriage rite. During the wedding a Hercules knot was tied around the bride with the intention that only the groom could undo it, hence the later phrase ‘tying the knot’.