Pin with spherical head

Period: Hittite Empire

Date: ca. 14th–13th century B.C.

Geography: Central Anatolia

Culture: Hittite

Medium: Gold

Dimensions: 5.12 in. (13 cm)

Classification: Metalwork-Ornaments

Credit Line: Gift of Norbert Schimmel Trust, 1989

Accession Number: 1989.281.14


The gold head of this pin is modeled after a poppy capsule. Its rosette top and fluted globe contain loose objects meant to rattle like seeds when shaken. A separately made thin wire collar masks the join where the solid pin was inserted into the sphere. As the actual poppy produces abundant seeds from its seed capsule it may have come to symbolize fertility. It is also probable that the juice found in the outer layers of the unripe capsule of the opium poppy was exploited for pain relief and to induce sleep.