Broad collar

Middle Kingdom

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 113

This piece of jewelry is a broad collar, a type of multi-strand necklace that covers the wearer’s upper chest and shoulders. Broad collars were popular from the Old Kingdom on and the piece here represents a conventional type that is composed of beads and semicircular terminals (endpieces). It features eight alternately colored rows of vertically placed cylindrical beads, separated by rows of small disk beads. At the bottom are differently shaped elements, so called drop beads.

When this collar was excavated, the ancient string had deteriorated, but for the most part the general pattern of the collar could be observed and the piece was reconstructed with modern string by the archaeologists.

When worn in life, broad collars would have been fastened around the neck with strings that originally were looped through the small holes at the top of the terminals (for a broad collar with original string, see 40.3.2). However, not all of these collars were used for the living, and many were made to be placed on top of the mummy of a deceased individual, such as the piece here.

Broad collar, Faience

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