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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst

 


Maker(s):Unknown
Culture:Egyptian
Title:Pair of shell bracelets
Date Made:1570-1185 BCE (New Kingdom, Dynasties 18-19)
Type:Adornment
Materials:Cowrie shells
Place Made:Africa; Egypt; Abydos
Measurements:Overall: 1/4 in x 3 1/8 in; .6 cm x 7.9 cm; Overall: 1/4 in x 3 1/2 in; .6 cm x 8.9 cm
Accession Number:  MH 1911.25a,b.A.M
Credit Line:Gift of the Egypt Exploration Fund
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Currently on view

Description:
Two bracelets, each composed of 14 cowrie shells strung end to end in a circle. Cowrie shells were used in Egypt for bracelets, anklets, and decorative girdles worn around the hips. Modern stringing.

Label Text:
According to ancient Egyptian belief, the body was required for use in the afterlife and every effort was taken to preserve it. After mummification, bodies were placed in rectangular or human-shaped coffins that sometimes had inlaid eyes. Coffins were often brightly painted, as is shown by the fragments with floral garlands and the sheltering wing of a deity. A winged scarab amulet sewn onto the mummy wrappings over the heart ensured the individual’s success at the time of judgment and, in later periods, bead netting covered the bandages. The dead frequently wore jewelry, including bracelets of cowrie shells, ivory, or other materials.

2016

4 Related Media Items

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