Culture Magazine

Ancient Egyptian Jewelry

By Egyking
Egyptians are well-known for their sense of beauty. Jewellery was used not only for beauty, but for the magical protection it provided.Immense treasures and jewelry were buried with the dead for use in afterlife and this was the main reason why Egyptian mummies were widely plundered.
 The first evidence of jewelry making in Ancient Egypt dates back to the 4th millennia BC, to the Pre dynastic Period.  As with other forms of Egyptian art design of jewelry followed strict rules to fulfill its religious role.

Ancient Egyptian Jewelry
Any change in the representation of religious symbols resulted in a loss of protective value. Jewellery also indicated the social status of an individual .It was undesirable to change the designs of any objects such as the royal cartouches or crook and flail.
Minerals and metals used to make jewelry were identified with specific deities and every color had a mythological meaning. Colour green symbolised fertility and crops whereas color red symbolised the need for blood by the god.
Scarab amulets were symbolic of rebirth.  Most of the raw materials that were used to make jewelry were found in Egypt, but certain prized materials such as lapis lazuli were imported from Afghanistan.

Ancient Egyptian Jewelry
Ancient Egyptian Jewelry
Ancient Egyptian Jewelry
Ancient Egyptian Jewelry
Ancient Egyptian Jewelry
Ancient Egyptian Jewelry
Gold was considered the skin of gods and was used widely among the people. Bronze was also preferred extensively. Sometimes, an alloy of Gold, Silver and Copper called "electrum" was used.The use of cold-worked glass in jewelry was the invention in the middle kingdom.
In order to provide cheap materials for the lower social classes, Egyptian artisans invented the art of the fabulous fake, ancient artisans became so adept at crafting glass bead versions of precious stones that it was difficult to distinguish authentic emeralds, pearls and tigers-eye. Solidified glass was also formed into beads and amulets which were small figurines that were buried with the deceased.
The wearing of these religious items was widespread by both sexes alike. Since all people needed the protection it provided lower social classes made their amulets from cheap materials such as coloured clay and fake reproductions.Bracelets, Brooches, Clasps, Coronets, Girdles, Earrings - all constituted ancient Egyptian jewelry.
Pectoral was an elaborate chest decoration item. There was also a unique headdress that formed a type of outer wig. Even mundane household objects like vases were made of hammered gold, festooned with jewels.

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