Ancient Egyptian Jewelry Overview
In a civilization that was full of wealth and treasures like ancient Egypt, women, and more precisely queens and the royal family ladies gave special attention to jewelry. Even men used to wear various pieces of jewelry as ornaments or sometimes magical mascots that they believed protected them against evils.
Most of these jewelries were made out of gold, silver, and electrum, a mixture of gold, silver, with glass and colorful semi-precious stones. Historians assert the ancient Egyptians started making use of precious stones more than 7000 years BC. The use of jewelry and ornaments represent a sort of religious matters. The Pharaohs used to give precious stones and valuable metals sacred and divine properties.
Gold appeared much later in the ancient Egyptian history. The most magnificent pieces of the jewelry of ancient Egypt can be found in Tut Ankh Amun collections of belongings. The New Kingdom is featured with the extensive and skilled production of various pieces of jewelry.
The collections of jewelry of Tut Ankh Amun included 143 pieces of necklaces, waistcoats, pendants and earrings. This is in addition to gold covers for the fingers and toes.
The genuine ancient Egyptian jewelry didn’t depend on the metals used and colors, but also was distinguished by its marvelous designs. Wires of gold used to be formed with golden plates to form wonderful pieces of jewelry.
The precious stones the ancient Egyptians used included lapis lazuli. This represented fertility and good luck. lapis lazuli was imported to Egypt from Western Asia. The ancient Egyptians also used agates of all colors including dark brown and green which represented warmness in life.
Scarabs were the symbol of the morning sun as the ancient Egyptians used to view them turning around early in the morning. When the sun sets, the scarabs would disappear. This was why scarab represented fertility and good luck. They were made out of blue rocks or colored tiles.
The Pharaohs also loved emerald. This was unearthed in Egypt more than 4000 years ago. It was considered the most loved jewelry of Cleopatra. Some scholars also noted that Neuron used to wear eye lenses that were made of emeralds.
The production of jewelry flourished in the reign of the New Kingdom of ancient Egypt. This was due to the explorations’ journeys carried out to the Eastern Desert of Egypt on regular basis. These metals like gold were treated and formed with the help of semi-precious stones and agates and turquoises.
Since the ruling period of the New Kingdom and until the Greco-Roman period, jewelries were part of the everyday lives of the ancient Egyptians. The Pharaohs also used to position jewelries in the tombs with the deceased.
Many collections of jewelries were found in various tombs of ancient Egypt. These included crowns, wreaths, various ornaments, golden hoops, various ornamented belts, and many more.
The ancient Egyptians also invented waistcoats that were only used in the Egyptian civilization. This was mainly made out of gold or sometimes gold plated.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Egypt is safe country to visit with notable low crime rate, tourist attractions are well secured and there is no common negative attitude towards foreigners, with some sensible precautions and preparations you will feel at home and as safe as you'll ever be.
There is no special dress code when visiting Egypt tourist sites, modest dress is recommended in less tourist sites and there is no special concern for women traveling alone.
Egyptian Arabic is the most commonly spoken language in Egypt, it is also the national language in the country but Egyptians speak and understand English as they study it in school. Fewer Egyptians can speak other languages like French, Italian, Spanish, and German. Egyptians working in tourism sector are accustomed to speak enough English and other languages to fulfill the needs of most travelers.
Egypt is very connected to the world, it has many direct flights with Africa, Asia, European Union and United States. Visit Cairo Airport website for a full list of Airlines that fly to Egypt.
Duty free allowances on arrival to Egypt are 1L alcohol, 1L perfume, and either 200 cigarettes, 25 cigars or 200g tobacco. Duty free shops are available in Egypt airports and major tourist cities (Cairo, Luxor, Hurghada, El Gouna and Sharm El Sheikh).
Giza Pyramids and most monuments and Museums in Egypt open between 8 Am to 5 Pm. During Ramadan, the holy month of the Islamic calendar, be aware that these hours will change significantly.
Shops and stores in Egypt are usually opened from 10 Am to 10 Pm however in major cities it opens much later and some are open 24 hours.
Visitors are welcome in most mosques throughout the year. Modest dress is recommended, women should cover their hair, arms and legs. Both Women and men will remove their shoes before entering.
Taking pictures for people and streets is fine after people permission While Taking pictures for official type or army structures is not permitted. In most historical sites and museums in Egypt it is allowed to use camera, some of them may charge you for camera but at the Egyptian Museum and some similar historical sites it is prohibited and you will be asked to leave camera at reception before entering.
Egypt enjoys big hotel variety from world class luxury to simple hostel accommodations; Check in time in most hotels in Egypt is around midday, 12 or 1 PM.
There in no health concerns or vaccinations required to visit Egypt but we recommend to check with your own doctor, he knows you and your medical history best.
The currency in Egypt is the Egyptian pound (LE), it is about ,06 to USD. Money exchange is widely available, Credit cards are largely used in Egypt major cities and tourist spots.
We do not recommend the public buses in big cities. Taxi and limousine service are fine every where but price is negotiable. Trains go to all big cities in Egypt except Sinai and the Red Sea. Flights from / to tourist cities are always available.
Tipping in Egypt is an appreciated habitual attitude but is Not obligatory. Generally 5 to 10 EGP for small favors is fine for carrying luggage, parking a car or to guys who clean bathrooms. 10 % is fine in restaurant and spa. Tipping your tour guide and vehicle driver should be considered if you're provided with good to great service, feel free to give what you think your experience was worth.
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In Cairo, visit the Egyptian Museum, Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, Khan El Khalili Bazaar and relish a walking tour on foot in Old Cairo. In Luxor visit the impressive Luxor temple, Hatshepsut temple, Valley of the Kings and Karnak temple. Aswan tours go to Philae Temple, Edfu, Kom Ombo and Abu Simbel temples. Uncover the Western Desert oases like Siwa and Bahariya. Diving or snorkeling in the magic waters of Red Sea and Sinai beaches like Sharm El Sheikh, Dahab, Taba, Hurghada and Marsa Alam to explore the magic of the underwater world. Board a Nile Cruise from Luxor to Aswan or vise versa, Lake Nasser Cruise from Aswan to Abu Simbel or vise versa and Cruise from Cairo to Aswan or vise versa.