Life in Ancient Egypt

Daily Life: Necklace with Amulets

Necklace The Egyptian craftsman who fashioned this striking necklace mastered the techniques of working in hard stone. Simple ball beads, along with six cowrie-shaped ones compose most of the necklace. Spaced among the beads are amulets representing the Bes-image, Taweret, and Horus (all deities popular with many Egyptians) and fish. The most common amulets, however, are lotus flowers symbols of rebirth. Single-strand necklaces were always popular in ancient Egypt and are often recovered among grave goods. The quality of this piece, its excellent condition, and the numerous amulets suggest that it was made specifically to protect its owner in the hereafter.

Necklace with Amulets
(jasper, turquoise, faience)
Early Dynasty XVIII, reign of Tuthmosis III
(ca. 1479-1425 B.C.)
Abydos, D102
Length 29 cm; most amulets: length 1 cm; width 0.5 cm
ACC. 1917-144

Excerpted from Reflections of Greatness: Ancient Egypt at The Carnegie Museum of Natural History by Diana Craig Patch.
© 1990 The Board of Trustees, Carnegie Institute.

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