Beaded Bracelet of Queen Ahhotep

This beaded bracelet of Queen Ahhotep, which is one of a pair, was found along with other jewels inside her sarcophagus. The bracelet is composed of 30 rows of gold beads and semiprecious stones (lapis lazuli, turquoise and carnelian), alternating with each other in a special design to form triangles and squares.

The clasp is made out of two gold sheets that slide within each other to close the bracelet tight. The clasps are engraved with hieroglyphs that can only be read when the two gold plaques are closed together: they form the cartouches of the queen’s son, Ahmose, who founded the 18th Dynasty. His coronation name, Nebpehtyre , is given on one, and his birth name, Ahmose, on the other.

Beaded Bracelet of Queen Ahhotep. Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 4685
Beaded Bracelet of Queen Ahhotep. Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 4685
Beaded Bracelet of Queen Ahhotep. Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 4685
Beaded Bracelet of Queen Ahhotep. Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 4685

Most of the objects found in the tomb of Queen Ahhotep bear the names of her sons, Kamose and Ahmose, the kings that chased the Hyksos out of the country. The queen played a major role during the war of liberation as testified by the many objects that her sons donated to her grave goods. Some of those gifts were weapons, unusual for a woman’s tomb.

Second Intermediate Period, 17th Dynasty, ca. 1560-1530 BC. From Dra’ Abu el-Naga’, West Thebes. Excavation by A. Mariette (1859). Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 4685