Pair of shell bracelets, 1570-1185 BCE (New Kingdom, Dynasties 18-19)
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
Gift of the Egypt Exploration Fund
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.