This pendant of a very pure design must be older than Croesus, whose name still evokes treasures of gold and precious stones. He was one of the most fastuous rulers of Lydia, a very ancient kingdom of Asia Minor, bordered to the north by Mysia, to the west by the Aegean Sea, to the east by Phrygia, and to the south by Caria, which was on the other side of the river Meander.
This jewel was found in a tomb in the region of Sardis, the capital city of Croesus, along with two similar, but much smaller pendants, one of which had the form of a ring, and the other of a circle with molding. They were probably worn on the chest, as on the island of Cyprus in the 6th century. Their symbolic meaning remains a mystery.
Lydia was independent and prosperous until 548BC In that year, Croesus was defeated by Cyrus the Great and his kingdom became just another province of the Persian Empire.