Jewelry has been around for a long time, and finger rings is something that we all have a relation to. Some love to wear them, others hate them. Although some wear rings just as ornaments, to dress up or to feel nice, others might wear them to show status or wealth. Rings also have symbolic functions concerning marriage, exceptional achievement, high status, authority or membership in an organization and such. In myth, fable, and fiction, rings are often endowed with spiritual or supernatural significance.
Rings must have had some sort or a symbolic value, an economic value or a status value also in ancient times. Considering the number of rings and the context they are often found in may indicate this. The circular shape has been something people have been interested in throughout huge part much of history. The circle or ring is carved into stones, mentioned in sagas, drawn and used in many different settings. Some even thought the year was a circle. When the year ended, everything started all over again, and so on.
The oldest finger rings found, is from ancient India, dating from the 3rd millennium BC. Finger rings have also been found in tombs in Ur – which was an important Sumerian city-state in ancient Mesopotamia – dating back to ca 2500 BC. Everywhere you look, there are jewelry found, indicating that people have always liked to wear beautiful things or to show power, status or wealth.
Here in Trøndelag, we have some amazing finds of finger rings. I will now show you some of my favorites from late Bronze Age to the Medieval period.