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Beaded Netting for a Mummy

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Attached to a linen shroud, this type of bead net covered the mummy from just below the shoulders to the feet. It was once adorned with faience figures of a winged scarab and the Four Sons of Horus. Blue bead nets were believed to assure rebirth by linking the deceased to Osiris and the sky goddess Nut. These gods were often depicted wearing bead net garments that were in fashion during the Old Kingdom, almost two millennia earlier.
MEDIUM Faience
  • Reportedly From: Abusir, Egypt
  • DATES 760-656 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 25
    PERIOD Late Period
    DIMENSIONS 13 x 1/4 x 59 1/16 in. (33 x 0.7 x 150 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 37.1814E
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Beaded Netting for a Mummy, 760-656 B.C.E. Faience, 13 x 1/4 x 59 1/16 in. (33 x 0.7 x 150 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.1814E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.1814E_PS9.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 37.1814E_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2015
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Long rectangular network of faience beads from a mummy. The major portion of the net is made of two types of blue glazed faience beads: short cylindrical beads and long cylindrical beads. They are strung in a pattern of lozenges. In a few cases there are two small beads at the intersection of four long beads. The cord (string) is made from two strands twisted together. On one of the short ends of the net, and one part of the bottom edge adjacent to this end there is preserved the original fringe of the net. This consisted of an extension, from every other intersection of two long cylindrical beads and of three long beads. At the opposite end of the net is preserved part of a different type of border decoration. This is a border formed by stringing, close together, of blue, tan, and white beads. Condition: Many beads missing and much of original string gone.
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