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Bead pendants of blue faience, and spacers of black, blue and green faience. 5 pendants are leaf-shaped, four of which are in blue faience and one in stone. The stringing of these has been reconstructed. It is assumed that the items were found together in a group, though the Museum cannot be sure that they have not been made up from different groups. Thus, the dating may be questioned.  

Leaf shaped pendants seem to have been popular from the Middle Kingdom, though were also current at later dates. It is possible that as well as being attractive the leaf shapes were also amuletic. 

Jewellery in ancient Egypt was worn by all groups. Not only did it look attractive but it could also act as a charm and an indicator of social class and gender. For more information on Egyptian jewellery see: Aldred 1971; Andrews 1990. 

These beads are made of faience. Faience has been called ‘first high tech ceramic’ (Vandiver and Kingery 1987, 9). Faience is made up of silica, natron/plantash and lime, usually coloured blue by the addition of cobalt. For more information on faience see: Nicholson and Peltenburg 2000.


Further reading: 

Aldred, C. 1971. Jewels of the Pharaohs. Egyptian Jewellery of the Dynastic Period. London: Thames and Hudson. 

Andrews, C. 1990. Ancient Egyptian Jewellery. London: British Museum Press. 

Nicholson, P.T. and Peltenburg, E. 2000. Egyptian faience. In Nicholson, P.T. and Shaw, I. Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 177-194. 

Vandiver, P. and Kingery, W.D. 1987. Egyptian Faience: the first high-tech ceramic. In Kingery, W.D. ed., Ceramics and Civilisation 3, Columbus OH: American Ceramic Society, 19-34.