Rings and necklace

Period: Middle Kingdom

Dynasty: Dynasty 12

Reign: early reign of Amenemhat I

Date: ca. 1981–1975 B.C.

Geography: From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Southern Asasif, Tomb of Wah (MMA 1102), MMA excavations, 1920

Medium: Carnelian and linen thread; blue-glazed steatite and linen thread; carnelian, turquoise, moss agate, amethyst, milky quartz, green-glazed steatite, and twisted linen cord

Dimensions: Sweret bead: 1.1 × 2 cm (7/16 × 13/16 in.)
Scarab: 2.6 cm (1 in.)
Necklace: 103 cm (40 9/16 in.)

Credit Line: Rogers Fund and Edward S. Harkness Gift, 1940

Accession Number: 40.3.1,.11,.16-related


The single barrel bead of high-quality carnelian and the scarab of blue-glazed steatite were both found in the palm of Wah's left hand. The small length of linen thread attached to each suggests that they were intended as rings, but they probably served as funerary amulets, not as jewelry worn during life. The lovely, asymmetrical beaded necklace, though perhaps a piece of personal jewelry, seems to have been restrung for the funeral, since the linen cord shows no sign of wear.