Have you ever heard of a gorget? Neither have I, until today. But just imagine it: the jewelry you wear today has a vast history of meaning and significance. So vast, it extends to the beginning of humankind!
An American Indian gorget, or wearable ornament, dating back to prehistoric times was discovered by chance two weeks ago in the village of Newtown, Ohio.
“These things are engraved with these animals on it and we rarely see engraving or artwork that goes back this far in time. That’s why they’re so wonderful,” Archaeological Curator at the Cincinnati Museum Center Bob Genheimer said.
It’s not the first time that such an artifact has been found, but it is the first time in more than 30 years.
“And that’s really the way all of them have been found — sort of accidentally,” Genheimer said. “(It’s) not work that we have done ourselves, but construction work. We would love, at some point, to get out there and really take a look and see what’s going on.”
Authorities said the cultural significance of the piece represents American Indian culture. The gorgets typically accompany human remains. All three were found in Newtown, just a few hundred feet from each other.
This particular one showcases a combination of a bird and a cat, similar to a composite animal that would fall in the same category as a unicorn. The bird and cat each represent a different spirit.
Historians said the gorgets are so rare that there are only six or seven in the country, and three of them are in Cincinnati.
Source: WLWT in Ohio.