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Fly Pendants and Cylindrical and Spherical Beads

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
Necklaces

Most ancient Egyptians owned at least one necklace.


The simplest examples were made of tiny beads of shell, bone, faience, metal, or glazed steatite. More complex versions had beads in the form of amulets, including uraeus-cobras, wedjat-eyes (the eye of the falcon-god Horus, symbolizing wholeness), scarabs (charms in the form of beetles), or images of gods such as Hathor. Individual beads as well as complete necklaces had significance. Beads reproducing fruits or flowers, such as the examples in this case, were believed to enhance fertility. Military officers presented fly necklaces to valiant soldiers to acknowledge their tenacity in battle.
MEDIUM Gold, lapis lazuli
  • Place Collected: Africa
  • DATES ca. 1539-1292 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY XVIII Dynasty
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS Length: 9 11/16 in. (24.6 cm) Fly Pendant: 11/16 x 5/8 in. (1.8 x 1.6 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
    ACCESSION NUMBER 08.480.198
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Fly Pendants and Cylindrical and Spherical Beads, ca. 1539-1292 B.C.E. Gold, lapis lazuli, Length: 9 11/16 in. (24.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 08.480.198. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 08.480.198_SL1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 08.480.198_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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