The Mamluk Treasure

The Mamluk treasure

In 1258, the Mongol armies were marching on Bilad al-Sham and the news about their brutality and looting carried out when a city fell into their hands arrived first. This is why a rich man decides to hide his treasure in a jar in the ground. He did not realize that the treasure would stay hidden for 700 years until it was discovered by archaeologist who decided that this exquisite and unique masterpiece should be displayed in the museum.

The golden treasure is adorned with Arabic calligraphy and ornaments that show the skills of the Mamluk era jewelers and their ability to realize minute designs and writing on small pieces. Elaborate designs decorate the ring and bracelet. Geometrical shapes, such as lozenges and shield like forms were also used. Dancer might have been carved to decorate the golden bracelet.

As for the treasures inscriptions, they reveal the traditions and believes related to the fight against envy, spells and the bad eye. On the necklaces, a “Thulth” Arabic calligraphy, typical of the mamluk era, states “perpetual glory and prosperity to its owner” around a blue pearl, the strongest weapon against envy in the Middle Eastern folklore. As for the ring, it displays an inscription in a rectangular frame. It probably mentions the name of the owner.