Net made from linen thread and faience beads

From Egypt
Late Period, 661-332 BC

From the beginning of the first millennium BC onwards, an intricate bead net was placed as the final layer of wrapping for mummies of wealthy individuals. The nets were sometimes quite elaborate, and might be decorated with figures of a winged scarab, the four sons of Horus or other protective symbols. The winged scarab was a common motif on mummy masks and coffins, representing rebirth. The sons of Horus protected the internal organs, which at this time were often returned to the body cavity while the body was being mummified.

The presence of these symbols suggests that the net was both decorative and symbolic, acting as an additional layer of protection for the mummy.

This net covered the full length of the body. It is made from turquoise blue tubular beads, threaded together to form a network of rhombus-shaped holes. Each bead forms one side of the rhombus, the corners being formed by smaller beads. At the top is a collar, also made of tubular faience beads. These are multicoloured, and set in three rows. The bottom of the net is also decorated. It consists of hanging lengths of beads with the linen threads at the bottom made into tassels.

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Length: 139.500 cm (mount)
Width: 50.500 cm (mount)

Museum number

EA 29593



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