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Egyptian Jewelry

 

Ancient Egypt is very rich excavations attest to that. The rulers or pharaohs were buried with much

of their wealth as a sign of their power and prestige and most of those signs are jewelry.


Jewelry was worn by both men and women of ancient Egypt. They were made to protect the wearer

form evil, and to ward off magic. It is a part of their daily lives that is, until the Roman times.


Various materials are used Badari and Nagada eras used natural resources like horns, plant branches

and perforated stones, and the Dynastic eras made use of different metals, minerals, and an assortment

of precious stones. Lapis lazuli is a favorite in Egyptian jewelry, though others make use of amethyst, cornelian, feldspar, garnet, opal, and turquoise. Artisans also made use of man-made resources, like

colored glass that simulates precious stones, and glazed objects. Metals used were gold, silver, and

copper. Often, these ornaments were fashioned with religion in mind religious symbols and icons

were crafted into jewelry. And sometimes, the adornments tell of a personal story or event.


The real beginnings of Egyptian jewelry began when the people finally had access to precious metals.

Egypt was envied for its treasures under the earth even then, though at first the Egyptians get their

metals from Nubia and the Eastern Desert. Mining was done by convicts it was a dangerous task

from which few ever return.


Silver was the favorite metal, up until the Middle Kingdom when gold became the top preference.

Egypt was overflowing with gold used in furniture, statues, vessels, and finally jewelry. It was also

during the Middle Kingdom when the art of jewelry reached its zenith, when jewelry craftsmen mastered

the accuracy and the technical methods of making jewelry pieces. The art prospered during the New Kingdom because of regular missions for metal extractions.


Jewelries are placed along the body of the deceased, and one of the oft-placed jewelry is the Scarab

the sign of rebirth. Almost all ancient Egyptian jewelry that are found are those entombed crowns,

hair bands, or wreaths.


Aside from the ones mentioned above, the jewelry worn by ancient Egyptians are:
Amulets of semi-precious stone charms worn or placed on a mummy to ward off evil spirits or to bring

good luck
Bangles and Bracelets comes in matching set
Belts waist and ones with hanging vertical straps adorned with colored beads
Cartouches worn as pendants, these were ellipses encircling the inscribed birth and coronation names of the king
Earrings
Finger rings
Necklaces usually of gold and silver adorned with colored glass bead or semi-precious stones; favorite among the wealthy
Pectorals large pieces of jewelry usually trapezoidal, worn on the chest
Vests unique to ancient Egypt, usually gold or gold-plated and worn around the chest; cheaper varieties were painted yellow to give a gilded impression
Since the discovery and exhibition of Egyptian jewelries, a market for reproduction had been developed. With information in hand from archeological findings, one can wear a piece of Egyptian history or something like it.

 

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