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Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor

Earrings were a late arrival in Egypt.

They first appeared in the Middle Kingdom—probably introduced from Nubia or western Asia—but did not become popular until early in the Eighteenth Dynasty. By that time, in the truly cosmopolitan civilization of the New Kingdom, men, women, and children of high social standing all wore earrings. Perhaps because they originated in a foreign culture, earrings seem to have had no protective function for the Egyptians, unlike other jewelry. The principal forms of earrings included hoops, “boats,” plugs, and studs. All four types were attached to the ear through a hole piercing the lobe.
DATES ca. 1390-1352 B.C.E.
DYNASTY late Dynasty 18
PERIOD New Kingdom
DIMENSIONS 3/16 x 1 x 1 3/16 in. (0.5 x 2.5 x 3 cm)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
CREDIT LINE Gift of Mrs. Lawrence Coolidge and Mrs. Robert Woods Bliss, and the Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
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