Sunday, April 3, 2011
Egyptian Treasure: Archaeologists Find Fashionable Jewelry in Ancient Tomb
f the Kings and for the multiple fascinating treasures that have been dug up in the region over the years. From ornate burial accoutrements to important hieroglyphic writings and other artifacts, the items found beneath the sand at Luxor have enchanted the human imagination and taught us much about the lives and practices of the ancient Egyptian civilization.
This week, the stock of salvaged ancient goods was revitalized by a find from a Spanish team of archaeologists digging at the site of Dra Abu El-Naga on the west bank of the Nile River. In the burial chambers of Djehuty, the overseer of the treasury under Queen Hatshepsut, one of Egypt's greatest rulers and one of very few females to be charged with the job, the archaeologists found five gold earrings and two gold rings.
Possibly belonging to his wife or other members of his family, the goods are indicative of Djehuty's high social and political rank as well as what would have been a privileged ability to own luxurious items. Gold jewellery is certainly a prized find among archaeologists, but it is far more greedily coveted by grave robbers. Evidence of looting appears throughout Djehuty's burial chambers, but the jewelry, along with descriptive wall paintings complete with hieroglyphics and a ceiling mural depicting the night goddess Nut, remained intact.
While many people can openly claim to have great stores of antique jewelry in their collections, many of which are richly ornamented with costume jewelry from bygone eras, the newly discovered pieces have quite a few years on Grandma's crystal brooches. Hatshepsut ruled Egypt for twenty one years, ending in 1458 BCE, making the gold earrings and rings approximately three and a half thousand years old.
The veteran pieces will likely get a nice polishing from local curators and be studied further to ascertain what they have to tell us about Djehuty, Hatshepsut, and their time in ancient Egypt. After which, with any luck, they'll be put on display or sent to a circuit of museums for public view (though we can't quite see them being rented out for Oscar's nigh