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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Egypt Centre, Swansea: Scantily clad dancers again - red in tooth and claw!

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Scantily clad dancers again - red in tooth and claw!

Recently writing a review of Wofram Grajetzki'sTomb Treasures of the Late Middle Kingdom. The Archaeology of Female Burials. And very good it is too. He discusses Middle Kingdom elite female burials and divides them into groups. One group, largely of young women who have the title 'King's Daughter' are very often found with some rather special jewellery. Claw amulets are one element, like EC1025 which we have in the Egypt Centre (shown here, left). They were worn on the ankles of the women.

I did wonder if these type of burials are associated with the khener (a particular type of dancer) and paddle dolls (we have one in the Centre) as written about by Ellen Morris. The only known depiction of a woman wearing them seems to come from the tomb of Wakhai II, at Qau el-Qebir. She seems to be a dancer.

That aside, the claw amulets are not only pretty but intriguing. Are they associated with birds of prey, or with felines? An argument could be made either way. I have put a bit more about them here.

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