These jewelry pieces from ancient Egypt prove that the civilization was ahead of its time

Elizabeth Ofosuah Johnson January 28, 2019

Egyptian civilization has been identified as the cradle of all human civilization celebrated for its languages, governance structure and a long history of wealth, education and powerful Pharaohs who ruled over the land for several centuries expanding the kingdom through trade and a strong military force.

Aside from these, the Egyptian civilization is also celebrated for being the first to start several fashion statements that remain an essential part of the fashion industry. They  include lipsticks, weaves and glass hair styles.

One of the major parts of the Egyptian culture which has not gotten as much attention as it should have is their fashion-forward way of turning gold into wearable pieces still found in the world today.

A collection of ancient Egyptian jewelry in the British Museum, London.

In more recent times, the extravagant wearing of jewelry pieces has been closely linked to African American celebrities specifically rappers and athletes. This fashion trend has since become more of a tradition known as the Bling bling culture which has traces in ancient African traditional culture.

With knowledge of being the cradle of African civilization, it is a no brainer that Egypt should be acknowledged as the inventors of jewelry made up of precious mineral stones, especially Gold.

Gold Slippers worn by royals during the Reign of Pharoah 
Thutmose  III

One of the most popular Ancient Egyptian jewellery pieces remains the  Gold Sandals with toe and finger covers that were worn by Thutmose III’s minor wives as a way of displaying wealth and distinguishing them from other women. Pharaoh Thutmose III was the 6th Pharaoh of Egypt who ruled the land for 54 years in the 1400s.

In ancient Egypt, Gold was considered as the skin of the gods making it a sacred ornament worn by the Pharaohs as a way of honouring them and showing their rank in society. Aside from these, jewelry pieces made from gold were worn by wealthy people of society who could afford it.

Sumerian headdress from a royal tomb in Ur, lapis lazuli and carnelian beads and gold leaves, c. 2600–2500 BCE; in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.

The Egyptians made several other jewellery pieces such as bracelets, headdresses, crowns, anklets and chains that were worn to express wealth, beauty and strength.

Jewelry pieces were designed in different forms to make them appealing and unique for each person wearing them.

Necklaceof Gold ball beads . Photo: Metropolitan Museum of Arts

Several jewelry pieces were also made for dead Pharaohs and royal tombs to signify wealth of a Pharaoh on earth and give them enough wealth to cater for their needs in the afterlife.

Today, several of the jewelry pieces from Ancient Egypt can be found in Museums all over the world especially in the United Kingdom. They prove that once again, the Egyptians helped define how gold can be turned into a work of art for the body.


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