Bottle Bead Necklace



Bottle Bead Necklace


jewelry, necklace


1539-1077 BC


New Kingdom


10 x 1/2 in. (25.4 x 1.3 cm)

Object Number



While we may think of Egyptian jewelry and amulets as two distinct categories, the overlap between the two groups is significant. The materials and forms used for amulets were frequently used for jewelry and therefore many pieces of jewelry shared the protective purpose of amulets. In this striking carnelian necklace, small spherical beads are interspersed with larger graduated bottle-shaped beads. There is scholarly debate over the identification of these bottle-shaped elements with some scholars suggesting poppy pods and others suggesting cornflowers. While each identification may suggest slightly different associations, both would have been common in an Egyptian garden and were used for ritual bouquets. It is likely they were used both for decorative reasons and their general association with fertility and bounty. Carnelian was a popular stone in Egypt, used for amulets and jewelry. Mined in Nubia and the Eastern Desert, the mineral's red or orange color had dual meanings. Red was the color of blood and therefore associated with power and vitality, however red was also associated with the threatening god Seth because of its affinity with the chaotic red lands of the untamed desert.

Credit Line

Egyptian Purchase Fund


From Pharaohs to Emperors: New Egyptian and Classical Antiquities at Emory, 01/14/2006 - 04/02/2006.
MCCM Permanent Collection Gallery, 2006-present.


© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Bruce M. White, 2005.
This image is provided by the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, who retains all rights in it. This image is made available for limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use only, or for fair use as defined by United States law. For all other uses, please contact the Michael C. Carlos Museum Office of Collections Services at +1(404) 727-4282 or Users must cite the author and source of the image as they would material from any printed work, but not in any way that implies endorsement of the user or the user's use of the image. Users may not remove any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary notices, including without limitation attribution information, credits, and copyright notices that have been placed on or near the image by the Museum. The Museum assumes no responsibility for royalties or fees claimed by the artist or third parties. The User agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Emory University, its Michael C. Carlos Museum, its agents, employees, faculty members, students and trustees from and against any and all claims, losses, actions, damages, expenses, and all other liabilities, including but not limited to attorney’s fees, directly or indirectly arising out of or resulting from its use of photographic images for which permission is granted hereunder.

On View



“Bottle Bead Necklace,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed February 19, 2019,

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