Many grand civilisations inhabited the area of Western Asia in Antiquity, and their wealth and prosperity are witnessed by the very sophisticated precious metal crafting of jewellery. Gold would have been hammered down to a thin layer and manipulated into different shapes. Gold and silver jewellery would have featured gold granules, glass and semi-precious stone inlays and detailed engravings. Very fine granulation along with filigree, were at the centre of Near Eastern and Western Asiatic jewellery production and were later adopted by the Greeks, Etruscans and Romans.
Carnelian is a translucent variant of chalcedony, and ranges in colour from light orange to dark brown. It is slightly softer than the likes of sard, and so is ideal for carving. The colour of stones was important in antiquity, with some varieties considered, through sympathetic magic, to increase fertility, ease childbirth, and provide relief and protection from afflictions (such as scorpion bites, stomach ailments, and eye disease). Written sources list a host of powers attributed to stones, for instance protection against the evil eye, the guarantee of safe travel, a better understanding of rhetoric, and even victory in court.