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 Museum Explorer

Dress and ornament in
Ancient Egypt

Good luck necklace

Diameter: 44.000 cm (exterior)

EA 3077

Good luck necklace

Said to be from: Thebes, Egypt
Date: Middle Kingdom, 1991-1750 BC

The ancient Egyptians wore amulets to bring good luck and keep evil forces away. Each amulet had a special power. This string of beads contains many amulets which each protect in different ways:

• At the bottom is a lotus flower attached to a seated god. The god raises his arms. Together these make up a hieroglyph meaning 'millions of years', which was a wish for long life.
• The gold cowrie shells were worn by women, particularly when they were pregnant.
• The fish amulets may be a charm against drowning. Children often wore amulets like these.
• The curly objects are beards or locks of hair.