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Gallery 19: Case 16

Personal Adornment

The clothes, jewellery or other items in this case come mainly from burial contexts, but show us what wealthier people would have worn or presented to each other when alive.

Both men and women wore earrings, and cosmetic jars have been found in the graves of both sexes. Rings, used as seals, as amulets (charms) or simply for decoration, were worn either at the base or towards the top joint of the finger. Necklaces were made of beads in glass or faience (a glazed substance with a crushed quartz core), metals (silver, gold, copper alloy) or natural products such as semi-precious stones or shells. Amulets would have hung from some necklaces to protect the wearer.

Clay figurines and some female mummies have been found with tattoos, a special form of personal decoration that may have had religious significance.

The finished garments and fragments of wool and linen cloth owe their survival to the exceptionally dry Egyptian climate. Their varied and sophisticated techniques offer a glimpse of ancient textile workers' skill and versatility.

Objects with database records from this case