The tombs of all the kings of the 1st Dynasty were discovered in Abydos, the ancient religious center of southern Egypt. The superstructures have not survived but it is thought that they were smooth sided parallelepiped buildings made with adobe bricks in the mastaba or “bench” style. These four bracelets were discovered at Abydos in the tomb of King Djer of the 1st Dynasty. They were fastened onto a linen-wrapped forearm of a woman, who might have been King Djer’s queen or a member of the royal family.
The bracelets were held in place by linen bandages, which made it possible to recover them in their original order of stringing. Three of the bracelets are composed of various types of beads: gold, turquoise, lapis lazuli, and amethyst. The fourth one consists of 27 plaques representing the palace facade topped by the falcon god Horus. The bracelets are of exquisite workmanship, demonstrating the skill of the ancient artists in this early period of Egyptian history.
The use of turquoise, mined in Sinai, and lapis lazuli, from central Asia, is evidence of the extensive trading links that existed in ancient times.
Lapis lazuli, turquoise, amethyst and gold. Early Dynastic Period, 1st Dynasty, ca. 3150-2890 BC. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 35054