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The Geometric Period

Inspiration for the collection by Kouzoupis

The Geometric Period

Inspiration for the collection by Kouzoupis

Shown: The Procession Fresco at Knossos, 1500- 1400 Bc (Minoan)

Until the 12th century Bc, the Eastern Mediterranean had been dominated by large-scale ‘Palace Kingdoms,’ such as the Minoans, Egyptians, Mycenaeans and Hittites. Moses had left Egypt just a few hundred years prior, the Trojan Wars had already taken place, and strong trade routes created economic ties across the region.

By 1200 BCE, however, civilization itself seemed to have collapsed. Historians don't know why, but the change was so cataclysmic that even information from this time is difficult to come by, we therefor call the time from 1200 to 700 Bc the Greek "Dark Ages".

Examples of geometric art in jewelry are few and far between. The term "geometric period" actually comes from the abundance of pottery art we find from that time. 

The manufacture of jewelry continued during this time but the ring featured below was a rare example of gold as the material choice. Due to it's availability copper was the most common metal found in jewelry from the time.



Despite the term "Dark Ages", proof of an artistic civilization can be found in the pottery of the time. Due to the extensive use of simple shapes we've come to call this "Geometric Art" & "The Geometric Period".

From the Minoan painting above (especially in the 3rd vase from the left) we can assume that Geometric art had it's roots in an earlier age, but the painting also shows depictions of the human form that are far more advanced than what we see even in the most advanced Geometric Period art. 

Shown: An early Geometric Period Vase from approximately 1100 Bc 



Below we see a copper bracelet that uses concentric circles as a primary motif. If you scroll up can see several pieces of pottery featuring a similar design element. The Minoans had begun using this shape many centuries before the Dark Ages began. 

That the motif remained in use during the Dark Ages may indicate a degree of conformity during this time - a fear of change or perhaps a lack of "me-time" for creativity.

For easy understanding; the geometric period of art has parallels to the "rebirth" of civilization taken place during that time. You can imagine a child making their first drawings but later creating far more complex compositions such as the c shown.  

Shown: An later Geometric Period Vase from approximately 750 Bc 

Our Geometric Collection doesn't attempt the replication of museum pieces, but rather appropriates some of the shapes found in pottery art. The crosses seen here are obvious examples because the Geometric period ended about 750 years before the birth of Jesus.

Note: Choose your stones! Kouzoupis uses diamonds by default but always remember; it's your piece and we are here to serve.

Crosses & Pendants




Another key ingredient in jewelry making is craftsmanship, and it can be presumed that during the Greek Dark Ages passing these skills down through the generations would have been difficult. 

Even today working with gold is a specialty within the industry, the metal has certain characteristics that require experience and training to master. So finding a craftsman to commission a new pair of earrings for yourself may have been a problem!

It's easy to see how this art form which may have had it's beginnings in Crete was distributed throughout the Cyclades (a nearby group of islands that includes Santorini, Naxos and Mykonos). The pottery was often used to transport wine and produce, so the art on the pottery would have been emulated by the recipients.

Click here for examples of geometric art from our other designers



A thought on our photos and listings

Both our designers and customers deserve our best effort so we are dedicated to presenting every piece in the most accurate way possible. 

Where you see older photos on white backgrounds, check to see if they come with a 20% "White Sale" discount. This will give us a chance to get better pics, while giving you a discount at the same time.

This page is primarily devoted to the efforts of Kouzoupis as they have made an extensive effort to the Geometric Art time period, but we also invite you to look at some very popular pieces from:

Gerochristo and Maramenos & Pateras

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