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Beaded Necklace

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Pre-Dynastic, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
The three necklaces in this case were discovered in graves. Ancient Egyptians apparently wore jewelry not only as adornments but also as protective symbols. Beads of different materials may have been chosen for the symbolic qualities of their colors. The amulet represents the head of a powerful bull—or possibly a nurturing cow—and was probably thought to transfer that animal’s characteristics to its wearer.
MEDIUM Shell, faience, carnelian, limestone, lapis lazuli
  • Place Collected: Abu Zaidan, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 3300–3100 B.C.E.
    PERIOD Predynastic Period, Naqada III Period
    DIMENSIONS Largest bead: 5/8 x 3/8 in. (1.6 x 0.9 cm)  (show scale)
    ACCESSION NUMBER 09.889.304
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    PROVENANCE Archaeological provenance not yet documented; between December 1907 and January 1908, acquired in Abu Zaidan, Egypt by Henri de Morgan of Francescas, France and New York, NY; 1909, purchased from Henri de Morgan by the Brooklyn Museum.
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    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION One hundred and four beads of different material. Twelve are of cut, but unshaped shell, two of them big and conical, eighty-one of shell, cut into rings or disks; five of greenish faience, one disk, two cylinders, one cone, one compressed spheroid; one bluish faience barrel; three of carnelian, one ring, one spheroid, one bicone; one lazuli blunt drop pendant; one big elongated cylinder of glazed limestone is the chief piece. Condition: Stringing modern.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Pre-Dynastic, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
    CAPTION Beaded Necklace, ca. 3300–3100 B.C.E. Shell, faience, carnelian, limestone, lapis lazuli, Largest bead: 5/8 x 3/8 in. (1.6 x 0.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 09.889.304. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.09.889.304_erg3.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, CUR.09.889.304_erg3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 9/21/2007
    "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.
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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