The Ancient Egyptian jewelries are as fascinating as the entire culture of this millenary nation. Jewelries in that time represented more than simple adornments. It was more about power and religious dominance.
Photo source: infactcollaborative
Egyptians believed in magical properties that could protected them from evil spirits, especially in the afterlife. After their death, people were buried with all their earthly possessions. This is why, everyone was wearing jewelries: women, men and children. Even the poorest of them could be found buried with a jewelry.
The range of the Ancient Egyptian jewelries was very broad. Egyptians were wearing beaded necklaces, anklets, collars, finger rings, bracelets, fillets, earrings.
Jewelry making was considered a profession. The people that practiced this activity were very appreciated. The materials used were various as well as their significance. Gem carving was a special part of the Jewelry making. It was known as “glyptic art” and usually the most popular motif was the scarab. Scarab amulets were the symbol of rebirth. Usually, they were placed over the heart of the person deceased. Glyptic art included many other anthropomorphic religious symbols.
Bracelet of King Tutankhamun with Scarab. Photo source: egy-king.blogspot
Pectoral scarab of King Tutankhamun
The Egyptians had access to many precious jewelries. This were: turquoise, lapis lazuli, carnelian, jasper, malachite, rock crystal. However, because natural gemstones were hard to work with, ancient Egyptians emulate their colors using polychrome glass.
Photo source: maries-jewels-royals
Photo source: flickr
The color of Ancient Egyptian jewelries had many meanings. Royalty was represented by the color blue. This is why lapis was one of the most appreciated gemstone. Green represented new growth for crops and fertility. Red was used especially for the deceased and was meant to satisfy the God Isis’ need for blood.
Shells and cooper were used by the poor. Gold, silver and bronze were for the rich. Gold was the most appreciated material. It was considered to be the skin of the sun God called Ra. Gold was accessible only to Pharaohs, members of the royal court and priests.
With such amazing culture is no wonder that the Ancient Egyptian jewelries are among the most appreciated pieces of ancient history. What do you think about the importance and the meanings of jewelries in our days?
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