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Cylindrical Amulet

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor

Among the rarest of Middle Kingdom amulets are hollow gold cylinders, usually decorated with tiny gold balls arranged in a geometric pattern. Goldsmiths attached these balls to the cylinders by granulation, a soldering technique developed in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) about 2500 B.C. Some amulets of this type contained tiny pieces of papyrus inscribed with magical spells.

MEDIUM Gold, copper (?)
  • Place Excavated: Lisht, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1938–1759 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 12
    PERIOD Middle Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 2 1/16 x Diam. of cap 1/4 in. (5.3 x 0.7 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Amuletic cylinder in gold. Decorated with vertical registers of granulation; at each end slightly flaring cap, the upper one furnished with suspension loop. Small holes toward top of cylinder reveal corrosion and suggest presence of copper (?) inner case. Condition: Upper cap slightly dented. Several minute holes in upper cylinder where granulation has been lost.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
    CAPTION Cylindrical Amulet, ca. 1938–1759 B.C.E. Gold, copper (?), 2 1/16 x Diam. of cap 1/4 in. (5.3 x 0.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 59.199.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.59.199.1_erg2.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, CUR.59.199.1_erg2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 11/26/2007
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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