Carved Ivory Since the end of the ice age ivory has been a common material carved into various shapes. It isn’t done today legally in most locations around the world so the value of these early works of art are even more precious and valuable. It is believed the Greeks and the Romans are the ones that really mad carving ivory into the form of art people have come to appreciate. Both of these cultures had numerous gods that they believed in. It was common for places of worship to have statues of them in place. Each of them was very detailed and full of live like features. Ivory was the perfect choice of materials to use to create them. It was also used to create beautiful boxes with various types of designs carved on them. The Chinese are also believed to have exported huge amounts of carved ivory since a very early time in history. This was a main was for them to boost their economy and to engage in trade with countries around the world. China has always been very good at trading in order to ensure they have what their people need that they can’t supply on their own. One of the interesting things about carved ivory is that you can see the changes in culture from the early works to those that take place years later. It shows that these cultures have continues to evolve and that new tools were emerging to work with. Even so, many of the primitive types of carved ivory are very well done. It is amazing when you think of how little they had to work with. The process of carving ivory is one that is very time consuming and requires a great deal of patience. The skills were often passed on from one generation to the next. In many regards it was considered a rite of passage, especially among the Chinese to be taught how to carve ivory from the elders. Most of the ivory around the world that has been used for carving has come from elephants. As a result many of the species have become extinct. Others are on the endangered list as their numbers have dropped very low and it is difficult to get them back up.
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