Cat's necklace - ROM2018_16320_2


Cat's necklace

Medium:Carnelian, jasper, glass and shell.
Geography: Excavated at Abydos, Egypt
Date: c. 2055-1773 BC
Period: 11th-12th Dynasty, Middle Kingdom
1 × 12.5 cm
Object number: 905.2.39
On view
Gallery Location:Galleries of Africa: Egypt

Cats could be useful and beloved members of the household in Ancient Egypt.  They killed mice, snakes, and other vermin. Their elegance and beauty were admired.  Cats are good parents, and the Ancient Egyptians valued that quality, too.  Cats often wear necklaces or collars, and earrings, too, in ancient Egyptian paintings and statues.  This little offering of somewhat mismatched beads may have been a farewell gift to a favourite pet.  It comes from he Middle Kingdom, when pet cats were becoming more common in Egypt, and when many girls were named or nicknamed for the animal.  In Ancient Egyptian, this animal’s name was the sound it makes – Miaw.  Cats were sacred to several goddesses, particulalry to Bastet.


Object History: Excavated by the Egypt Exploration Society, 1902-1904
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