Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: Pre-Dynastic, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
The three necklaces in this case were discovered in graves. Ancient Egyptians apparently wore jewelry not only as adornments but also as protective symbols. Beads of different materials may have been chosen for the symbolic qualities of their colors. The amulet represents the head of a powerful bull—or possibly a nurturing cow—and was probably thought to transfer that animal’s characteristics to its wearer.
Shell, faience, clay
ca. 3300-3100 B.C.E.
Predynastic Period, Naqada III Period
largest: 1 1/8 in. (2.9 cm)
average: 1/4 in. (0.7 cm) (show scale)
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
One hundred sixty two beads and shells: seventy rings of cut shell of different sizes; thirty one very small barrels of red faience; thirty very small cylinders, disks and rings of green faience; twenty one small truncated shells; six small fusiform shells, pierced as pendants, as chief pieces; four rather large shells of cowrie type with backs cut off.
Condition: Good. Stringing modern.
Beaded Necklace, ca. 3300-3100 B.C.E. Shell, faience, clay, largest: 1 1/8 in. (2.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 09.889.302. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.09.889.302_erg3.jpg)
. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 9/21/2007
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