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Girdle with Cowrie Shells

Period:
Late Middle Kingdom–Second Intermediate Period
Dynasty:
Dynasty 12, late–17
Date:
ca. 1850–1550 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Asasif, Tomb MMA 840, pit in portico, MMA excavations, 1912–13
Medium:
Electrum over plaster, carnelian, amethyst
Dimensions:
L. 66 cm (26 in.); L. of shells: 2.5 cm (1 in.)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund and Edward S. Harkness Gift, 1913
Accession Number:
13.180.11
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 109
This gridle was found with other pieces of jewelry in the plundered chamber reached by a shaft in the portico of a rock-cut tomb in the Asasif section of the Theban necropolis. Among the finds were parts of a rectangular wooden coffin with green hieroglyphs on a yellow background as well as a few remains of one or more model wooden boat(s), three scarabs (13.180.8- .10), two anhydrite toilet vessels (13.180.19a- .c, .20) and the group of jewelry items (13.180.1- .18a- .l) striking for the extensive use of silver. Dates that can be ascertained by stylistic comparisons to some of the objects range from the late Middle Kingdom (ca. 1850-1700 B. C.) to the late Second Intermediate Period (ca. 1580-1550 B. C.). A number of clay pots (28.3.239- .241 now in the Oriental Institute Museum, Chicago) from the area of the tomb but not with certainty identified as found inside the shaft and chamber from which the jewelry was obtained date to the late Second Intermediate Period.
Museum excavations, 1912-13. Acquired by the Museum in the division of finds, 1913.

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