Beaded Bracelet of Queen Ahhotep
The beaded bracelet of Ahhotep is a remarkable piece of jewelry that showcases the artistic and craftsmanship skills of the time. The bracelet, which is one of a pair, was found along with other jewels inside her sarcophagus. It is composed of 30 rows of gold beads and semi-precious 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.
The bracelet features intricate designs and patterns, often incorporating symbols associated with royalty and protection. The craftsmanship and attention to detail in the bracelet highlight the skill and artistic sensibilities of ancient Egyptian artisans.
Queen Ahhotep was a prominent figure during the 17th Dynasty of Egypt, known for her role in the fight against the Hyksos invaders.
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.
The beaded bracelet of Queen Ahhotep is not only a beautiful piece of jewelry but also provides insights into the fashion and adornment practices of the time.
It serves as a valuable artifact for understanding the cultural and historical context of ancient Egypt, particularly during the period of Ahhotep’s reign.
Second Intermediate Period, 17th Dynasty, ca. 1560-1530 BC. Excavation by Auguste Mariette in 1859. From Dra’ Abu el-Naga’, Thebes. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 4685