VIEW LARGER

Artist: Unknown
Title: Tomb necklace

Date unknown
Faience
Unknown donor

About the Art
Looking closely at the necklace, you will see five protecting eys of Horus, called wadjat-eyes (also spelled wedjet or udjat). The eye is a symbol for protection, health and honor. According to Egyptian myth, Horus, the sky god had one eye that was said to be the sun and the other the moon. In a battle with the god Seth to avenge the death of his father, Horus’ right eye was injured. Once the eye was restored by the goddess Hathor, it was given the name wadjet, which means “healthy”. Another amulet is found on the necklace, the stem of papyrus. This symbol, known as wadj, it represents growth and youthfulness, much like the growing reeds of papyrus found by the Nile River. Necklaces such as this one would have been worn by the living, or entombed with the dead.

Faience
Used in Egypt to produce items such as jewelry, figurines and vessels, faience is a non-clay ceramic material that is finely glazed. Ground quartz (silicate) was combined with lime (calcium) and soda (sodium). The resulting mixture was easy to form and did not crumble. While firing, or heating within a kiln, the clay-like mixture forms a thin hard layer. The resulting brightly glazed form could have a variety of colors depending on the ingredients. The most common color is blue-green, the result of using copper within the mixture, which changes color when fired. To decorate, artisans could incise or inlay other material into the surface or paint directly on.