Ancient Egyptian Jewelry

anicent egyptian jewelryWe made several kinds of ancient Egyptian jewelry during our study of the Egyptians.  They not only wore it for its beauty, but also because they believed it was magical and could protect them from evil as long as they wore it.  It represented power, beauty, and their beliefs.  It was a symbol of their wealth and status.

The Egyptians used beautiful, accessible supplies to craft their jewelry.  They used shells, beads, stones, gems, plants, gold, and silver.  Soft gems and colored glass were favorites among the materials they used.  They had beautiful turquoise jewelry too.

They were buried with jewelry too.  Earrings, arm bands, bracelets, belts, anklets, rings, necklaces, hair bands, crowns, hair ornaments–all of these were a normal part of life in ancient Egypt.  Men even wore jewelry!

Connecting Our Project to the Real Stories

This is King Tut’s pendant.  The wealthier and more powerful someone was, the larger and more ornate their jewels were as well.  We read library books all about King Tut, the pyramids, and pharoahs.  As we read, I had the kids keep their eyes peeled for every single piece of jewelry we saw in our books.

King Tut’s Pendant. Photograph by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra. Shared under CC license on Wikimedia.

Making connections between the story, the craft, and real people who really lived is the key to a great Layers of Learning homeschool.

You can make your own Egyptian armbands like the ones shown above with a toilet paper roll, scissors, gold paint, and acrylic  jewels.  You’ll find all of the instructions for it, along with many more projects about ancient Egypt and its art in Layers of Learning Unit 1-2.

Additional Layers

  • People still make jewelry today.  Beading supplies can be found inexpensively. Try making your own beautiful creation.
  • Scarab beetles were a common theme among ancient Egyptians and were prevalent in their jewelry.  They represented resurrection and eternal life.
  • A car touche was an ancient hieroglyph that often marked the possessions of the owner.  It represented the owner’s name.  Do you mark any of your belongings with your name?
  • Egypt is often referred to as the Jewel of the Nile.  Jewels were highly valued among the ancient Egyptians; what do you think this nickname means?
  • This activity is from Unit 1-2 of the Layers of Learning Homeschool Curriculum.  It’s amazingly smart and easy.

Unit 1-2

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