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Gold Taweret necklace

 

Length: 43.500 cm (as strung)

Gift of the members of the committee of the Egypt Exploration Society from the collections of Sir John Maxwell

EA 59418

On loan to

    Gold Taweret necklace

    From Egypt
    18th Dynasty, 1470-1350 BC

    String of alternating hollow gold beads and Taweret amulets

    Amulets of the goddess Taweret were one of several types of amulet used as elements in jewellery. Taweret amulets appear throughout the Dynastic period from the late Old Kingdom (2613-2160 BC) onwards. Essentially a household goddess, she protected the mother and child from the malign forces that threatened them during childbirth. These amulets were worn by women of all social groups. They were most often mass produced and made of faience, but could also be made of various types of stone. A distinctive glass type is characteristic of the Eighteenth Dynasty.

    The examples on this necklace are of gold and are mould-made and hollow. A large number of these pendants and hollow spacer beads were found in the burial of the wives of king Tuthmosis III. Those shown here probably belonged to a necklace, perhaps to protect one of the king's wives during childbirth. Several bracelets with spacer bars in the form of reclining cats, symbols of the goddess Bastet, were also found. These amulets promoted fertility, and their presence in the tomb, together with the Taweret amulets suggest that one of the main preoccupations of Tuthmosis III's wives was with supplying the king with an heir. Similar items have been found in the burials of other royal women of the New Kingdom.

    C.A.R. Andrews, Amulets of Ancient Egypt (London, The British Museum Press, 1994)

    S. Quirke and A.J. Spencer, The British Museum book of anc (London, The British Museum Press, 1992)

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