Metal jewelry was often set with precious and semi-precious stones. In addition, pendants and beads were often made of glass, faience, and frit.
Glass is made from silica (e.g. sand) that has been melted and cooled without recrystalization. Faience has a fused crystalline body and a thin glaze coating (normally a distinctive turquoise blue). Faience-glazed pendants were extremely popular in Egypt as good-luck talismans and protection against evils. Frit is like unglazed faience; often it was produced as a colorant, especially in glass. Throughout the Near East before the Early Bronze Age, faience and frit already were produced. Glass was produced sporadically, and perhaps accidentally, until the Middle Bronze Age (ca. 1800 BCE) when specialized production began in Northern Mesopotamia.
As the technology to create blown glass had not yet
been invented, glass objects were created method called
core-forming, which was practiced by the Phoenicians.
Core-forming, originally developed by the Egyptians, was
used for the production of glass beads and various other
glass objects. In core-forming, a core of clay is shaped
around a metal rod. Semi-molten glass is then wound around
the core in "trails," often of a variety of colors, which
were added, until the object was sufficiently built up. The
soft glass could be inscribed with a sharp tool to create
decorative patterns. Once the glass object was finished, the
clay core was scraped out.
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