Gold earring in the form of ram's head and crescent - ROM2016_15161_29


Gold earring in the form of ram's head and crescent

Medium:Gold, hammered, soldered and engraved
Geography: Undetermined site, Egypt or Nubia
Date: c. 900-200 BC
Period: Probably Late Period
3.2 x 1.8 cm
Object number: 948.34.131
Credit Line: Gift of Sir Robert Mond
On view
Gallery Location:Galleries of Africa: Egypt

Ancient Egyptians began to wear earrings during the Second Intermediate Period, circa 1650-1550. The habit may have been adopted from Nubians. At first they seem to have been worn only by women, but by the middle of the Eighteenth Dynasty, men, including kings, show by their pierced ears that they also wore earrings.

This earring, one of a pair, may be either Egyptian or Nubian.  The ram's head represents the god Amun, who was very popular in Nubia in his ovid form. The cresent-shaped upper element may represent a crescent moon or a boat, and is often called a 'leech' after its shape.  Both elements are made of thin gold sheet formed over bitumen, faience or other material. 

If you see an error or have additional information, please contact us by clicking here.