Greek Gold Wreath of Oak Leaves and Flowers, possibly from Attica, Greece, late 2nd - early 1st century BC
In ancient Greece, oak leaves symbolized wisdom, and were associated with Zeus, who according to Greek mythology made his decisions while resting in an oak grove.
Gold wreaths such as this one derive their form from wreaths of real leaves worn in religious ceremonies or given as prizes in athletic and artistic contests. Because of their fragility, gold wreaths were probably not meant to be worn. They were dedicated to the gods in sanctuaries and placed in graves as funerary offerings. Although known in earlier periods, gold wreaths became much more frequent in the Hellenistic age, probably due in large part to the greatly increased availability of gold in the Greek world following the eastern conquests of Alexander the Great.