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.
ca. 1478-1425 B.C.E.
15.500a: 15/16 x diam. 13/16 in. (2.4 x 2 cm)
15.500b: 9/16 x diam. 1/2 in. (1.4 x 1.3 cm) (show scale)
Gift of the Egypt Exploration Fund
Alabaster ear-stud (?) made in two separate pieces. Mushroom-shape with conical plug on under side; second piece same shape but smaller with hollow cylinder on under side to receive plug of larger piece. Fine work and unusual type.
Condition: Cylinder of 15.500b chipped.
Plug, ca. 1478-1425 B.C.E. Egyptian alabaster, 15.500a: 15/16 x diam. 13/16 in. (2.4 x 2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Egypt Exploration Fund, 15.500a-b. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.15.500a_erg456.jpg)
. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 7/16/2007
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Are these mushrooms?
These objects certainly are mushroomed-shaped but no, they are actually plugs to be worn in the ears. And the doughnut-shaped one is simply an earring.