Beads card

Courtesy of National Museums Liverpool, World Museum

Beads

1978.291.321

On display

Information

For 3,000 years, the manufacturing of stone beads for jewellery was a major industry. The eastern desert was rich in supplies of blood-red carnelian that was very easy to break into circular shapes. Boring holes into the beads using rotating flint drills set into wooden handles was the hardest part of the job. Once polished the beads were ready for stringing into ornaments to adorn the body such as this one from the New Kingdom. A string of beads 99 cm in length composed of fifty-six poppy head beads each pierced in the top for suspension and separated by carnelian spherical beads. All mostly carved from carnelian with some being jasper. The beads have been restrung, with the original order not recorded. They probably once formed a necklace or girdle/belt that wound around the waist. From Egypt, possibly from Abydos. 1900-1901, collected by Amy Urlin whilst participating on an excavation for the Egypt Exploration Fund.