Egyptian Faience Date Amulet Earrings


An ancient Egyptian faience earring set with a date fruit amulet from the Amarna Period. The amuletic bead is made from blue glazed faience and is modelled in the shape of a date. The reverse is flat and unworked. The amulet features suspension loops on both ends for attachment suggesting that it would have been used as part of a broad collar necklace. However three of the four suspension loops (from both earrings) are now missing. The amulets are set in a modern gold frame, revealing both the front and reverse of the amulet, and is connected with gold hooks allowing them to be worn as earrings.

Date: Circa 1353–1336 BC
Period: Amarna Period, 18th Dynasty
Provenance: The property of a deceased female collector, UK, bought from the 1930’s-70s.
Condition: Good condition, three suspension loops now missing.

In stock

SKU: XJ-53 Category: Tag:

The Amarna period refers to the reign of the fanatic king Akhenaten, who made the worship of the god, Aten, the state religion during the latter half of the 18th Dynasty. Unlike other Egyptian gods, Aten had no anthropomorphic features and was represented in the form of a sun disc. As the worship of all gods other than Aten was severely repressed, this period was thought to be the first expression of monotheism in world history. A new capital was also built for Aten – Akhetaten “The Horizon of Aten”. This site is located in modern day Tell el-Amarna, thus giving name to this extraordinary period of Egyptian history.

The date palm, Phoenix dactylifera, is an evergreen tree, cultivated in ancient Egypt since predynastic times. Its hieroglyphic name 𓇜 bnr or bnrt also means sweet. Dates were primarily grown for its fruit which can be consumed directly but also made into date cakes and date-wine. Other parts of the tree was also useful- timbers for construction, leaves for weaving mats and baskets, bark for making ropes. The date palm was associated with the sun-god Ra, the goddesses Hathor and Nut and the god of time Heh. Its connection with the passage of time came from the belief that the date palm grow a new leaf every lunar month. Hence the hieroglyph for a year rpnt is represented by a palm branch stripped of leaves. Given the role of the date-palm as a “tree of life “in ancient Egypt, beads in the shape of date palm leaves and fruits were popular in jewellery such as this item.

To find out more about Ancient Egyptian amulets please see our relevant blog post: Egyptian Amulets and their Meanings.

Weight 4.1 g
Dimensions L 3.5 x W 1.1 cm





Reference: For a similar item, National Museums Liverpool, Liverpool, item 56.20.627.56

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