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Necklace of Drum-Shaped Beads

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
Necklaces

Most ancient Egyptians owned at least one necklace.


The simplest examples were made of tiny beads of shell, bone, faience, metal, or glazed steatite. More complex versions had beads in the form of amulets, including uraeus-cobras, wedjat-eyes (the eye of the falcon-god Horus, symbolizing wholeness), scarabs (charms in the form of beetles), or images of gods such as Hathor. Individual beads as well as complete necklaces had significance. Beads reproducing fruits or flowers, such as the examples in this case, were believed to enhance fertility. Military officers presented fly necklaces to valiant soldiers to acknowledge their tenacity in battle.
MEDIUM Faience
  • Place Excavated: Sawama, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1514-1353 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 18
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS Approximate length: 36 5/8 in. (93 cm)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
    ACCESSION NUMBER 14.629
    CREDIT LINE Gift of the Egypt Exploration Fund
    RECORD COMPLETENESS
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