Ancient Egyptian Jewelry

50 Masterpieces of Art and Design

Nigel Fletcher-Jones

Jewelry was worn by ancient Egyptians at every level of society and, like their modern descendants, they prized it for its aesthetic value, as a way t

English edition
3 March 2020
116 pp.
50 color photos and 1 color map
20.5 x 20.5 cm
ISBN 9789774169656
For sale worldwide

$19.95

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Jewelry was worn by ancient Egyptians at every level of society and, like their modern descendants, they prized it for its aesthetic value, as a way to adorn and beautify the body. It was also a conspicuous signifier of wealth, status, and power. But jewelry in ancient Egypt served another fundamental purpose: its wearers saw it as a means to absorb positive magical and divine powers—to protect the living, and the dead, from the malignant forces of the unseen. The types of metals or stones used by craftsmen were magically important, as were the colors of the materials, and the exact positioning of all the elements in a design. Ancient Egyptian Jewelry: 50 Masterpieces of Art and Design draws on the exquisite collections in the archaeological museums of Cairo to tell the story of three thousand years of jewelry-making, from simple amulets to complex ritual jewelry to the spells that protected the king in life and assisted his journey to the Otherworld in death. Gold, silver, carnelian, turquoise, and lapis lazuli were just some of the precious materials used in many of the pieces, and this stunningly illustrated book beautifully showcases the colors and exceptional artistry and accomplishment that make ancient Egyptian jewelry so dazzling to this day.

Nigel Fletcher-Jones

Nigel Fletcher-Jones, with a PhD in archaeology and anthropology from Durham University, UK, has been director of the American University in Cairo Press since 2012. He writes regularly on Egyptian archaeology and history for magazines, and blogs at imagesofcenturies.com.
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