Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Necklace of Gold Ball Beads

Middle Kingdom
Dynasty 12
reign of Amenemhat I, early
ca. 1981–1975 B.C.
From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Southern Asasif, Tomb of Wah (MMA 1102), Mummy, bandages at neck, MMA excavations, 1920
Gold, linen cord
Overall length of necklace 64 cm (25 3/16 in.); Diam. of beads 0.9–1.1 cm (3/8–7/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund and Edward S. Harkness Gift, 1940
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 105
Five of Wah's necklaces were probably worn during his lifetime, although some may have been restrung for his burial. After Wah's mummy had been partially wrapped, this necklace of gold beads was tied around the neck. At the same level were three other necklaces: one made of silver beads (40.3.19); one made of blue faience beads (40.3.18); and one from beads of a variety of shapes and materials (40.3.16). The fifth necklace (40.3.15), made of blue faience beads, was found in a different layer of the mummy wrappings along with three scarab bracelets (40.3.12–40.3.14).
Mummy of Wah excavated by the Egyptian Expedition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1920. Acquired by the Museum in the division of finds, 1920. Mummy unwrapped in New York, 1940.

Hayes, William C. 1953. Scepter of Egypt I: A Background for the Study of the Egyptian Antiquities in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Part I: From the Earliest Times to the End of the Middle Kingdom. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 230, 308.

Schorsch, Deborah 1995. "The gold and silver necklaces of Wah: a technical study of an unusual metallurgical joining method." In Conservation in ancient Egyptian collections: papers given at the conference organised by the United Kingdom Institute for Conservation, Archaeology Section, and International Academic Projects, held at London, 20-21 July 1995, edited by Carol E. Brown, Fiona Macalister, and Margot M. Wright. London: Archetype, pp. 127–35.

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