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Wednesday 12th June 2013

Carolyn Graves-Brown (The Egypt Centre)

‘“Girl Power” in Amarna? Three ring bezels’.

In 1933 Frankfort and Pendlebury published 3 faience ring bezels (decorative parts of a ring) from Amarna. These very same bezels are now in Swansea’s Egypt Centre (W1150, W1151 and W1155a). One of the pieces is particularly difficult to decode: is it a centipede, a hedgehog, or a gazelle? Another is an unusual design- a lute player. A closer look at this particular object opens the debate on the social and religious significance of the female musician. The third is either the lower part of a monkey, or more likely a dancing Bes.  As I will demonstrate, these three artefacts all plausibly and coincidentally allude to aspects of the female generative powers, an important aspect of Amarna religion.