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. 1539-1190 B.C.E.
XVIII Dynasty-XIX Dynasty
7/16 x Diam. 1 5/16 in. (1.1 x 3.4 cm) (show scale)
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
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Hoop, ca. 1539-1190 B.C.E. Egyptian alabaster, 7/16 x Diam. 1 5/16 in. (1.1 x 3.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.1455E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.15.500b_37.1455E_erg456.jpg)
. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 7/16/2007
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Penannular earring of alabaster. The ends of the loop are pointed. Both inner and outer surfaces curve convexly; the inner surface less than the outer.
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