Hair ring - ROM2018_16320_49


Hair ring

Medium:Rolled glass
Geography: Egypt
Date: c. 1550-1069 BC
Period: 18th-20th Dynasty, New Kingdom
2.65 × 0.5 cm
Object number: 986X2.10
On view
Gallery Location:Galleries of Africa: Egypt

Penannular earrings such as this were popular during the 17th and 18th dynasties.  Though many survive, they are a bit of mystery. They may be simply hoop earrings with a particularly narrow opening. They might have been clipped directly onto the earlobe; some, but by no means all, similar earrings have wires to attach to the earring and to pass through a hole in the earlobe. Some Egyptologists believe the penannular rings may be hair ornaments, with strands of hair packed in through the cleft.  Unfortunately for this theory, no images of people wearing such hair ornaments have been found. There have also been suggestions that such earrings were not worn in life, but were left with the mummy as token jewellery.

This particular ring is made of blue glass, ribbed for an attractive effect and perhaps to help keep it in contact with a pierced ear.  Glass was an elitemateriall during the 18th Dynasty, when earrings such as this were popular.  The blue colouring imitated costly lapis lazuli.

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