Wrist ornaments

Old Kingdom, Dynasty 5
2465–2323 B.C.

Findspot: Egypt, Giza, Tomb G 2422 D, cylinder beads from Tomb G 2416 D


Height x width x depth: 10.8 x 5.2 x 1.2 cm (4 1/4 x 2 1/16 x 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


On View

Egypt: Old Kingdom Gallery (Gallery 108)


Jewelry, The Ancient World


Bracelets and armlets

For both men and women alike, jewelry added interest and color to garments of undyed linen. The parure shown here, which consists of a collar, counterpoise, and pair of bracelets, was restrung from elements of blue, green, and black faience left behind by robbers in an otherwise empty, plain wooden coffin. The colors were the most commonly used in making the ceramic during the Old Kingdom.

The earliest bracelets known from Egypt are bangles that were found in tombs of the Predynastic Period. Bracelets have been found in royal tombs dating to as early as Dynasty I. Representations of bracelets like those shown here usually depict women wearing them in pairs. The vertical spacers with nine holes permitted many rows of tubular beads to be strung together.


From Giza, tombs G 2422 D and G 2416 D III). 1936: excavated by the Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA in the division of finds by the government of Egypt.
(Accession Date: August 1, 1937)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition