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Corrugated Hoops

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.
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1539-1292 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 18
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 72.123a: 1 5/8 x 1/2 x 1 7/16 in. (4.1 x 1.3 x 3.7 cm) 72.123b: 1 5/8 x 9/16 x 1 5/8 in. (4.1 x 1.4 x 4.1 cm)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
    ACCESSION NUMBER 72.123a-b
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION One pair of gold corrugated hoop earrings. Each composed of two bands, the outer with corrugating and the inner similarly formed but with corrugated edges rounded. The two bands soldered (?) together forming six tubes and then curved to form the hoops. This comprises three-fourths of the earring. The final fourth, for insertion in the ear, is formed by a continuation of the two center tubes with a band of herringbone design attached to the top edge. This pair of earrings is larger than other existing examples. Condition: Good and complete. Both earrings have crushed areas especially on the outer edges, b more so than a.
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