Monday, 11 April 2011

Ancient Egyptian Jewellery

Today I thought it would be interesting to read a little about Ancient Egyptian Jewellery and would like to share with you the article below written by David Laurent Guffroy.

Ancient Egyptian Jewelry Design

Egyptian Jewelry is one of the most beautiful examples of ancient jewelry. Excavations have revealed treasures containing beautiful examples of ancient Egyptian jewelry, with intricate designs and a sense for style, as early as 3500-5000 years ago. Not only is ancient Egyptian jewelry beautiful in design, but also uses gorgeous coloring and precious materials. Precious gemstones and gold metal were common in these designs, gold was their metal of choice.

Many jewelry designs depicted images of birds, scarabs, or beetles, which have a deep religious symbolism for Egyptians. Gemstones were carved with beetles images. Beetles symbolized rebirth. The eye is another symbol represented in Egyptian ancient jewelry. Males and females wore jewelry. It had social status significance - wealth - but also a protection meaning, as jewelry was also worn to be protected from evil. A beauty and adornment approach was also related to wearing jewelry in ancient Egypt, but the main reason was religious and for protection. Wealthy Egyptians and Pharaohs were entombed with their jewelry. It was worn in death as well. It was supposed to serve them in the afterlife, as it was believed.

Much of these treasures have been lost due to thieves who robbed the tombs of wealthy Egyptians and of pharaohs. One of the remaining treasures that were untouched was found in the tomb of Tutankhamen. It offers a live example of wealth on those days. Egyptians also used color in the jewelry design to give different meanings to their creations. Green was a symbol of fertility. Many gemstones were brought from other lands, although most of it was from Egypt.

Egyptians also used polychrome glass to work on their designs when it was too difficult to work with gemstones. Gemstones found in Egyptian ancient jewelry include carnelian, malachite, jasper, lapis lazuli, turquoise, and quartz. The color blue represented by the lapis lazuli meant royalty. Lapis lazuli was brought from Afghanistan. There were many jewelry pieces such as bracelets, earrings, pendants, elaborated headpieces, brooches, clasps, and many other carefully designed pieces. Chest pieces were called pectorals; they were of intricate design and meant to accompany the death to another life. The designs represented their gods.

Other designs include the ankh symbol, also known as the Egyptian key of life, or Egyptian cross, which looks like a cross with a loop on top. It symbolizes life, and was a common symbol. Turquoise was very popular and it signified life and joy as well. Jasper was also commonly used and symbolized the red of Isis, one of their deities, and symbolized fire. Turquoise, unlike Jasper, was easy to work with for their carvings. Malachite necklaces were worn to protect the wearer from epidemics. Carnelian symbolized the blood of life. Other gemstones included amazonite, emerald, and amethyst. The metal by choice was gold and it represented the skin of gods.

David Laurent Guffroy is an e-commerce and domaining expert. He is currently the founder and managing director of body piercings, an online piercing and jewelry store.

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1 comment:

  1. Great article. I love how intimately jewelry and protection were associated. I want to incorporate that thought into more of my own jewelry.