Thursday, October 6, 2011

Beadwork for Mummies

Are you possibly like me and interested in archaeology and mummies and things?  If so, have you ever seen beadwork done for mummies?   I hadn't.
Check this out!  Click on the picture to make it larger.
This is Nemenkhetamon (attributed to the Ancient Egyptian period of 1069-525 BC.  He's part on an exhibit in Venice, Italy right now.   Sure wish I could go there.
This one is about 2600 years old.
This one is available if you want to purchase it and is similar is style to the one above.  A fine restrung Egyptian bead mummy mask, the face made up largely of blue beads, with the nose and eyes in white, and the pupils and eye-brows in black, the whole composition bordered by a band of white beads. Mask measures 127 mm/5 ins. across. One bead missing from the cheek but an attractive example, Late Period, c. 600-300 B.C.

The 2 photos above are from the Rijksmuseum.  Are these not fabulous?
According to the museum info these two beaded mummies are from the 26th Dynasty (664-525 BC). The beadwork on both includes a winged scarab (a symbol of the Sun God) and the four sons of Horus (who protected the internal organs). 

Such beadwork was not custom-made for a mummy. Beaded nets began to be used in the 25th Dynasty.

Love the colors in this one that is from the Art Institute of Chicago


I could not find where this photo came from originally.  This one and some of the others are featured today on Needleprint, a blog I read every day as you never know what treasures she will share.  These are glazed faience beads in that wonderful Egyptian blue color.
Here is another news article on the new discovery of the mummy in the second photo. 
And in case you are interested in the faience beads, this article is quite good.
I still can't believe that of all the documentaries I have watched and books I have looked at about Egypt and archaeology and mummies, that I have never seen anything on the beadwork coverings before.  
And if you are near Houston, there is a special exhibition about to start of King Tutankhamun with over 100 treasures to view.  This was the only beaded item in the little slideshow.
But the other pieces look pretty fabulous too. 

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