Journal

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Trunk show 11/17/17-11/19/17 at Uncommon Objects 

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I arrived at ancient jewelry through the world of antiques. Before starting We Are Ancients, I was an antiques dealer at Uncommon Objects in Austin, TX. At first, my pieces could be anything from a ship made entirely of struck matches, to artist studies and sketches, or ram skulls.

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Over time I found myself drawn to smaller, handmade pieces, mainly early Native American turquoise jewelry and antique Georgian diamond rings. 

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Something about holding these in my hand felt like an authentic connection to their makers and wearers. These unabashedly handmade pieces were full of stories. Through their hand-cut stones, handmade stamps, and genuine wear, they told a story. That story stirred in me a closeness to people I would never know.

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From there my focus shifted earlier and earlier. Medieval jewelry led to Roman signet rings led to Mayan gold led to a series of thirteen little drilled shells painted with a red ochre. These shells are the first evidence of jewelry, found in a Moroccan cave, dating to around 80,000 BCE.

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These beads are not only significant because they represent the earliest known jewelry, but “the beads carry a symbolic message,” says Christopher Henshilwood of the University of Bergen in Norway. These ancient beads are our first tangible example of early humans placing meaning in an object (Stoned, 107). Through these thirteen tiny shells we catch a glimpse of ancient abstract thinking. The context is long gone, but these beads prove that jewelry is not a trivial construct but a basic human impulse.

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Somehow after tracing ancient jewelry back to its origins, I felt a universal web connecting modern and ancient people through jewelry. We can connect to each other, regardless of time or location, through these beautifully handmade pieces. They have an honesty that mass produced perfection could never achieve. I founded We Are Ancients on the idea that we are not so different from our ancient brothers and sisters. 

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Uncommon Objects and the world of antiques will always hold court as our touchstone for inspiration. We can’t wait to celebrate their new space at 1602 Fortview road during our trunk show this weekend! Drop by the reception 6-9pm on 11/17/17 for jewelry, company, inspiration, and drinks. If you’re busy drop by Uncommon through 11/19 to see our new collection in person! ♥️ Mandy