This medallion, which was found in a tomb of the Casetes cemetery (Villajoyosa), belongs to a necklace with five pieces of gold and one of blue glass, dated in late 7th -6th century B.C. It was considered a powerful amulet. It is a solid piece, stele-shaped (gravestone), and very few similar examples are known throughout the Phoenician world.
The decoration is made with various techniques, including tiny gold wire and spheres only one third of a millimeter thick. Around these, we see relief shapes made by pressing the gold foil against a mold. This medallion reflects the great mastery of the Canaanites goldsmiths. That's how the Phoenicians were called: "Phoenicians" is the name given by the Greeks. In Greek "Phoenician" means "purple man", referring to the purple dye made by the Canaanites. The Phoenicians used to use in their artistic objects (among them the jewels) from Egyptian, Greek and other oriental cultures of the period: for that reason these style is called "orientalizing".
The first symbol is at the top, a winged Sun protecting the rest of the elements. It is a symbol of the power of the Pharaoh of Egypt. Below, there’s a Sun within a crescent moon, typically Phoenician astral symbols related to the balance between day and night, life and death; it represents the idea that nothing is totally good or bad, within the darkness there is always light.
Beneath it is a lotus flower, symbol of creation and eternal life. And at the base there is the symbol of the Sun which is Ra, the Egyptian god of light and life. He is protected by two uraei, sacred cobras from Uadyet, the goddess of the heat of the Sun and of the flames of fire. Only the Pharaoh could carry this symbol since the uraei represent his strength and power. They were also represented in the crown of the Pharaon of Lower Egypt, because she was the patron saint of this region.
Being a piece of gold, the eternal metal that does not rust, the Phoenicians already believed that this amulet passed its protective magic and immortality to whoever own it. His powers are shielded above and below, in heaven and on earth, left and right, in life and death.
Les Casetes Necropolis
Height: 23,1 mm; Width:16,2 mm; diam. 1,2 mm
Nº inv. Vilamuseu 003466