Beads - ROM2018_16348_3



Geography: Egypt
Date: c. 1985-1773 BC
Period: 12th Dynasty, Middle Kingdom
L: 71.7cm
Object number: 910.48.113
On view
Gallery Location:Galleries of Africa: Egypt

      This is a modern stringing of 401 carnelian beads with two quartz beads, a red hand amulet and one that appears to be a tiny seal. The red translucent form of chalcedony was popular in Egypt from the Predynastic Period through to Roman times and beyond. Red was associated with the warmth of the sun, with manliness, and with the power and energy of blood. It could also be linked, however,to the red desert to the West, and to the unruly god, Seth or Sutekh.

      Hand amulets were common in the First Intermediate Period and Middle Kingdom.  They may represent, generally, dexterity and power, or may have served as substitute hands if the deceased's own were damaged. Hands may refer to the 'hand of God' which the god Atum used in the creation of the universe.    

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