Each decoration of ancient Egypt is like an enigmatic book. You have to read it and understand it to unravel the hidden mystery.
“When we look back at the Mayans or ancient Egypt, we look at their art.” Robert Wilson.
The art of jewelry reached a high level in ancient Egypt, which is well known due to large-scale archaeological excavations on its territory. Several factors contributed to this development. First of all, there were numerous large deposits of gold, which made this material readily available in Egypt. In addition, the inhabitants of the country of the Pharaohs attached sacral significance to jewelry. That is why it was worn by absolutely everyone, regardless of gender, age, and social status. The fantasy of ancient Egyptian artisans, embodied in jewelry, gave birth to real masterpieces, many of which famous jewelry houses are still trying to imitate.
Ancient Egyptians have mastered various techniques for making jewelry from different materials. Most often, it was created from gold, which was not deficient. With the help of special additives, jewelers could change its color in a wide range from light yellow to green.
The ancient ornaments of Egypt were also made from silver, as well as from the electrum. This material was an alloy of silver and gold and looked like platinum.
The Egyptians were not familiar with precious stones such as rubies or emeralds; instead, they used ornamental stones: amethyst, carnelian, garnet, and lapis lazuli, which was valued especially highly. They have also used the stunning beauty of rock crystal widely. They loved bright and saturated colors, so jewelers often used techniques such as smalt and enamel in their work. Bright colored pastes that covered the materials for jewelry were also popular. Apparently, the favorite shades in ancient Egypt were turquoise, green, white and blue.
Jewelers of Egypt produced almost all types of jewelry, which can be seen today. Perhaps the most popular accessories were necklaces worn by both women and men. They were made from gold plates, beads or from pendants of different shapes. The traditional decoration of ancient Egypt was the Uskh, the so-called sun-necklace, which was attached to a leather lining and resembled a collar. The Pharaoh’s sun necklaces could weigh several kilograms: often this item was used as a reward for distinguished commanders and officials.
Bracelets were incredibly popular as well. Often bracelets - male and female - were decorated with the Eye of Horus, which served as a talisman and protected the wearer from evil spirits and misfortunes. Magical and religious properties were attributed to jewelry, therefore various talismans and amulets were widely spread in Ancient Egypt.
Rings in ancient Egypt were also worn by both sexes. The only difference was that male officials often used signet rings with initials and symbols. Earrings were also common, especially in the form of circles, symbols of the Sun. They were decorated with pendants of various shapes, as well as chains.
During the excavations, such pieces of ancient Egyptian jewelry as belts of gold plates were also found. They were not available to all residents of the ancient kingdom, just to the rich and noble ones. The nobles used combs and hairpins made of expensive iron, while people who were less well-off used bone combs that could be decorated with stones or glass. Gold jewelry and chains could be woven into natural hair and wigs. Pharaohs wore a golden diadem – the Uraeus, in the midst of which a graceful snake was placed.
Ancient Egyptians believed in the afterlife. That is why; special jewelry was crafted for the dead. Medallions in the form of scarab beetles - symbols of resurrection and life were made for funeral ceremonies. They can now be seen in many museums of the world, along with other fabulous works of the ancient jewelry from Egypt.